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Circular Economy

So imagine you're a potato. You start out as a little potato seed in the ground, and as you grow, you need certain nutrients to keep you healthy and strong. One of those nutrients is nitrogen, which you get from the soil.

But where does the nitrogen come from? Well, it's all part of the nitrogen cycle, which is like a big, circular economy. Circular economy is an economic model that aims to minimize waste and promote the continual use of resources through design, reuse, repair, and recycling. This is very close to nature’s heart, just like every other cycle (water cycle, carbon, now potato life cycle!!)

First, there are these little bacteria called nitrogen-fixing bacteria. They live in the soil and they have a special power: they can take nitrogen from the air and turn it into a form that plants can use. So these little bacteria are like the factories in the circular economy, creating a valuable resource out of something that might otherwise go to waste.

Then, you (the potato) come along and start growing. You take up the nitrogen from the soil and use it to build yourself up. But eventually, you're harvested and turned into French fries. (Sorry!)

Now, at this point, you might think that the nitrogen is gone forever. But here's where the circular part of the economy comes in: the potato scraps and other food waste from the French fries end up in a compost pile.

And what happens in a compost pile? You guessed it: more bacteria get to work breaking down the organic matter, and in the process, they release the nitrogen back into the soil. This is a cycle.

And that, my friend, is the Circular economy or nitrogen cycle in a nutshell (or should I say, in a potato skin?)

Image by wirestock on Freepik


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