Earth balanced on cliff edge

Over the past few weeks, the planet, atmosphere, and ocean have hit historically high temperatures. July 4, 2023, was the hottest day in recorded history. It’s time to make changes that have been talked about too long. Earth911 is taking a step to help accelerate the development of the circular economy, which can reduce the need to extract raw materials from nature by 30%, and we are asking for your help.

We invite you to become a founding Earth911 Circular Economy Community member. Be a catalyst of circular solutions. When you join, we will work together to create a vital community that contributes ideas, collects and shares information, and collaborates to fill gaps in local and regional collection, processing, and distribution infrastructures. We’ll give you news and analysis to talk about, how-to tips to share (and we’ll share your tips), and host online and physical events as we build a global movement. It will be fun, and the hard work of building a circular economy is more accessible when shared.

Your support also enables us to expand our platform to provide comprehensive resources on recycling, composting, reusing, repairing, donating, and other local circular options. We will report on great ideas shared in the community on to help them reach millions more people. And every month, we will plant trees on behalf of each member — not to offset carbon but just because it is the right, restorative thing to do.

Building on a Broad, Accessible Foundation

For many years, Earth911’s research team has worked with a community of about 2,500 volunteer curators to organize, validate, and explain public, private, and nonprofit recycling programs available in every county and city in the country. Earth911 catalogs over 250,000 recycling, composting, reuse, donation, and other circular options for 500+ materials, 3.5 times more than any other platform. We cover public, private, and nonprofit services, not just the public curbside and transfer station options.

The future is a destination unknown, but we can get there sooner by collecting information. The Circular Economy Community will help our team map and explain all circular services, including more composting, refill, reuse, donation, and other local options. We also plan to catalog environmentally responsible products and circular services needed to replace traditional industrial options with sustainable alternatives. We welcome people of all perspectives and backgrounds because the circular economy, like every society before it, will be organized by information, activated by shared knowledge, and driven by the wisdom of well-informed crowds.

We understand that the path out of the climate crisis needs to be clarified. We continuously work to map new options for recycling materials, create recycling solutions for existing products, and provide consumers with clear, easy-to-follow guidance on using circular services. Many ideas from many communities are needed if we are to rapidly convert the take-make-waste economy into a sustainable, circular economy that prospers without constantly extracting and wasting the planet’s resources.

We Can Invent the Future, Together

There are many paths to sustainability, and just a few of the questions our members will explore include:

  • How can we make more product packaging refillable, easily recyclable, or compostable?
  • Where are large volumes of easy- or hard-to-recycle materials piling up in landfills that could be made into new products with a new collection and processing system?
  • Could entrepreneurs or nonprofits collect the tidal wave of e-commerce deliveries made of corrugated cardboard, one of the most valuable recyclable materials, to create local economic opportunity?
  • How can we integrate circular practices into designing, manufacturing, and delivering everything we buy or sell?

Together, we can solve problems and enable circular options, from collecting more aluminum cans to organizing large-scale collection and refill programs and many more solutions that remain to be discovered or invented.

Our guiding principle is the simplification of recycling, composting, and other circular activities, to make them accessible and engaging for everyone. Research has repeatedly shown a strong positive correlation between access to recycling information and successful recycling behaviors — well-informed people recycle more of everything. But today, recycling and circular services must make their rules and guidance more cohesive and clear. We will help connect your communities to local recycling options, and you can be the heroes that help spread the information that makes circularity real for all.

More information and ideas are needed to optimize our manufacturing infrastructures, municipal and brand recycling communications, and identify business opportunities in challenging-to-recycle materials.

The View From Your Home Matters

Why is it essential to bring consumers together with the companies they buy from, waste management professionals, private recyclers, and growing donation and reuse infrastructure? A full lifecycle perspective that centers on the first, vital step in any circular process — when someone puts a material back into the system for reuse — is the path forward. Internal operational concerns, not customer convenience, dominate the recycling industry and its communications. That inward-facing focus results in overlooking the importance of clear guidance and the benefits of serving recycling-concerned customers.

Eighty-one percent of consumers say that brands that help them recycle will earn their next purchase. Let’s start a partnership between customers and companies. We will make the connection that quickly brings everyone into a new, sustainable world.

We cannot solely rely on top-down or bottom-up approaches to create convenient, profitable, and gratifying circular experiences. Instead, solutions will arise from collaborations across the supply chain involving every stakeholder, from waste management programs to brands and individuals like you.

When you become a member of Earth911’s Circular Economy Community, you will immediately connect with actions that contribute to restoring the pre-industrial environment, lowering and ultimately reversing global warming. We will listen and build community tools and connections to help your region create and implement solutions to our climate, recycling, and consumption issues. As a member, you can participate in forums, webinars, and discounted training sessions, empowering you to make a tangible difference where you live and across the globe.

Join in, Have Fun, and Change the World

When you join the Earth911 Circular Economy, you express a commitment to helping build a sustainable future where resources are valued, waste is minimized, and all people in the circular economy thrive. Together, we can create a future where sustainability is not just a buzzword but a way of life.

We offer two levels of individual membership: Basic and Premier. Both provide opportunities for engagement, learning, and discounts on vetted circular products. We’ll also be writing guides in response to your questions, doing the research you need to make informed decisions. Premier members will also enjoy additional benefits, exclusive access, and more trees planted in their name each month.

Businesses are also welcome. We encourage companies to join as Business members, providing your team members with branded usernames when participating in webinars and community conversations. You’ll also support planting 450 trees each year.

Join Earth911’s Circular Economy Community today and participate in a movement transforming how we live, consume, and protect our planet. Visit our Kickstarter page and become a member. Join today to put the Earth911 team to work for you, and let’s make a lasting impact on the future of our species.

I look forward to welcoming you to the conversation.

By Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch is the publisher at and Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation at Intentional Futures, an insight-to-impact consultancy in Seattle. A veteran tech journalist, Mitch is passionate about helping people understand sustainability and the impact of their decisions on the planet.