Cold colours for winter, green for spring, warmer shades for summer and earthy tones for autumn... Nature is full of colours we should preserve. Likewise, a sustainable economy is also colourful.

Care for the planet and living things has grown like never before, largely because of the obvious consequences of climate change on the environment and society.

For a more sustainable future, we must rethink how we see and interact with the world, so our actions will not cause harm. Concepts like the green, blue, orange or yellow economy aim to show us areas we should pay close attention to in order to help the environment.

Green economy

Green is probably the first colour we associate with sustainability. The green economy mainly aims to fight ecological threats to improve social well-being. People, government entities and private businesses must work together on waste management and consumption by households and business establishments, mobility and other important issues.

Blue economy

What does blue remind you have in nature? One thing that surely must come to mind is the blue of rivers, lakes and oceans. After all, water is certainly something the planet is known for: it’s over 70% of its surface. Aquatic ecosystems are vital spaces that make life possible on Earth.

In the blue economy (from Gunter Pauli’s book, The Blue Economy), production should mimic nature, getting the most out of resources and any waste they produce. And so, the items we use can become the materials needed to make others.  

Orange economy

The orange economy is based on creative production. In fact, it is also known as the creative economy. In the orange economy, goods and services both are bought and promote culture and learning in society. A strong orange economy sparks innovation to create sustainable alternatives to care for the environment and handle other major challenges.

Yellow economy

The yellow economy is centred on science and technology. Advances through research have boosted efficiency, fixed problems, lowered costs, saved more resources and other great things. It benefits our environment directly.

At odds with these sustainable economic models is the black economy. It includes drug trafficking, terrorism and other criminal activities that blocks progress and reinforces social inequality. 

How to make the economy more sustainable?

Limiting the harm we cause to the planet is everyone's duty. Some good habits we could develop are:

  • Consume responsibly: This goes for good and services we pay for. We could be more conscious consumers: buying only what we need and preferring produce that’s in season and locally grown.

  • Follow the Three R rule: Reduce, reuse and recycle to lengthen the useful life of some things or turn waste into others to save natural resources.

  • Choose sustainable transport: The United Nations says, “In most high-income countries, personal transport is the lifestyle domain with the largest contribution to the overall lifestyle footprint.” Since the 1970, that footprint emits two times more greenhouse gases. Cycling and taking public transport are the best choices to get around.

  • Use the collaborative economy: Second-hand shops and apps allow us to save and give something another life. We could trade things like books, buy a car and much more.

  • Make your home more efficient: We should buy energy-efficient electronic appliances and devices. They don’t need to be new — actually, more people are buying things reconditioned. You can also do things like keep your home at the same temperature, consume energy from solar panels or other renewable sources.

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