Regenerating Our Reality through Circular Economy

Circular economy is not just a big concept for governments and economists, but something real that we can immediately put into practice as individuals.

by Jean Pullen

Picture taken by Michael Preston of our Garden Home 


A circular economy creates closed cycles of production and promotes waste management with each product we consume.

As I have traveled through Central America, I have come to recognize that part of my calling is to embody environmentalism in my lifestyle. I have seen firsthand how capitalism devastates communities. I have seen how greed for money and resources wins out at the expense of people’s livelihoods, land, and water. I have witnessed how people in the so-called “third world” are living in community and sharing resources. 

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Picture taken by Jean Pullen of our Food Forest Canopy 

The relationship between the earth, community, and nature reflects our relationship with ourselves. 

One of our most exciting blessings is the power of choice. We choose what to eat, drink, wear, accept, say, do, make, and buy. We choose with whom we work, play, converse, dance, and date.

With such a plenitude of options, it’s sometimes difficult to make an intentional choice these days. As you consciously consume foods, clothing, and other retail products, ask yourself: Is your choice a great one for you, your family, and the planet? If you are unsure about the environmental consequences of your actions and lifestyle choices—research, discover, learn, unlearn, dig—and then choose.

I believe zero waste requires, first and foremost, an empowering shift in mentality. In opening our mind to new ways of living and regenerating, we learn to challenge the status quo and tread our own path to happiness.

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Picture taken by Jean Pullen of our Home

As we think about old, linear systems of production—“take/consume,” “throw away,” and “out of sight, out of mind”—it is clear how this way of life pollutes the earth, leaving it much worse than we found it. Plastic, for example, takes decades to break down and even then continues to release microplastics and toxins into the environment. 

A circular economy creates closed cycles of production and promotes waste management with each product we consume. 

Waste can be defined as something that doesn’t have a use. The “zero waste” movement is about finding a use for everything. Focusing on waste prevention, the zero waste movement encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused, closing the loop and ultimately decomposing into the earth. 

Circular Economy is based on three principles:

  • Eliminate waste and pollution from production systems.
  • Keep products and materials in use as long as possible.
  • Regenerate natural systems.

“The circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible . . . . In practice, it implies reducing waste to a minimum. When a product reaches the end of its life, its materials are kept within the economy wherever possible. These can be productively used again and again, thereby creating further value.”

—European Parliament 

In a circular economy, activity builds and regenerates itself. Regeneration is about the entire cycle of life—from life to death. 

Nature works in cycles, circles, and spirals. Linear systems go against that natural order. 

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Picture taken by Michael Preston of Alan Cacao our regenerative designer. 

I am still on my journey to zero waste, and I get frustrated when everything is wrapped in plastic at stores. So, I try to boycott going to grocery stores as much as I can. I am happy to compost my food scraps. In our household, we produce one to three gallons of food scraps per day because we eat primarily from local farmers and our garden. Even our poop is reused! We have a “humanure” compost toilet that enables this precious waste to return to the land to fertilize our fruit trees after two years, during which time it safely decomposes back into soil. 

Our family uses eco-bricks, too. We push all our plastic waste into bottles (I like to use an empty gallon container from our laundry detergent), which become plastic-filled “bricks” we can then use to build structures. We consume our own crops, which then become poop, which we compost for two years before giving it back to the earth to nourish another cycle of food production. 

Circular economy is not just a big concept for governments and economists, but something real that we can immediately put into practice as individuals. 

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Picture taken by Michael Preston of us planting seeds with the neighborhood. 

Our connection to the earth is related to everything else in our lives, and so my new book offers suggestions to regenerate yourself, your communities, and the environment. Ready to get deeper into regeneration? Regenerate Your Reality: Your Guide to Regenerative Living, Love, Happiness, & Sovereignty is now available to pre-order. Visit to learn more. 

Much of the proceeds from this book will be filtered back to regenerative community-based farming models and planting trees that feed through Kiss the Ground and Jungle Project!

Jean Pullen is the author of Regenerate Your Reality, a resource for those who seek regeneration in their lives and in the world. She is a partner of Jungle Project, and Soil Advocate at Kiss the Ground. In addition, she enjoys sharing her passions through holistic workshops and regenerative agriculture tours.

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