Life cycle thinking is an approach to becoming mindful of how everyday life affects the
environment. This approach evaluates how both consuming products and engaging in activities
impacts the environment. Not only will it evaluate them at one single step, but it also takes a
holistic picture of an entire product or activity system.
By consuming a product, a series of associated activities are required to make it happen. For
example, the raw material extraction, material processing, transportation, distribution,
consumption, reuse/recycling, and disposal must all be considered when evaluating the
environmental impact. This is called the life cycle of a product. Life cycle thinking also can be
applied to the consumption of other socio-economic activities such as watching a movie, making
arts and crafts, cooking dinner, or even doing homework.
The goal of life cycle thinking is to make people and companies more aware of how their actions
impact the environment in a holistic sense rather than a one-time pollution that comes as a direct
result of using a product or doing an activity at one specific time. Although it is nearly
impossible to undergo consumption of anything with no environmental impact, life cycle
thinking can help people make better alternative decisions to mitigate their environmental
impact. For example, by identifying pollution costs and its adverse effect on human lives,
companies can innovate to mitigate their expenses while consumers can make better alternative
choices to mitigate their impact.
Little drops of “enviropreneurial” actions make a better world because;
- Increasing awareness of the Life Cycle Analysis technique would allow companies as well as individuals to consider multiple options for a new product.
- Life cycle thinking can help people find new ways to improve environmental performance, image, and economic benefits.
- Not only could life cycle thinking help the environment, it can also save businesses and companies more money and improve their reputation.
By: Dr. Ebenezer Osei Jones