Planetary boundaries and the wheel of life.

The Wheel of Life

The wheel of life represents the cycle of life. A cycle of life, a cycle of seasons, a cycle of learning. We find learning is a circle that builds on previous lessons, where we build our foundation and then add to it. Each lesson widens the circle of knowledge and making connections between areas.

Wheel of Life – from Maire Lacrampe (Non-violent Communication Coach)

With a wheel of life, we want to have each area filled and be fulfilled by each area. Self-reflection and acceptance are key to this. We can use the wheel to set goals and create actions and plans to achieve them. The wheel is divided into slices that we identify as an area in our life: such as, career, health, lifestyle, fun, spirituality, finances, family, and friends.

Planetary Boundaries

When we look at planetary boundaries, we see a similar wheel or circle. The planetary boundary visual was developed by the Stockholm Resilience Centre. More detailed and technical information can be found on their website.

We see a circle divided into slices that are identified are important resources. Resources that we need to survive. Land use, freshwater use, climate change, ozone depletion, chemical flows like phosphorus and nitrogen. In the center of this wheel, there is a boundary with green slices inside. That is our planetary boundary for each slice. In other words, what the earth can handle of our use.


The planetary boundary is the wheel of life for the planet. Like the wheel of life for ourselves, there is a boundary. Similarly, if we work all the time, our time with family and friends suffer. Likewise, if we party all the time, other areas suffer. When we go beyond our personal boundaries, then we get into an orange or red zone. It becomes unhealthy for us to party or work all the time and other areas in our lives suffer.

The same thing is true for the earth boundaries. We are in the red zone for phosphorus and nitrogen pollution. The earth is working too hard to support our wants and desires. We have moved into unhealthy patterns. We are not unlimited wells with unlimited resources. Neither is our home.

Here at Prairie Circular Economy, we can help you become a leader in your community. Contact us for a free discovery call and we can work together.