Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Reduce, reuse, recycle, " urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. But as architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart point out in this playfu, visionary book, such an approach only perpetuates the one-way, " cradle to grave " manufacturing model, dating to the Industrial Revolution, that make such fantastic amounts of waste and pollution in the irst place. Why not challenge the notio that human industry must damage the natural world? In fact, why not take nature itself as our model for making things? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we consider its abundance not wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective.

Waste equals food.

Guided by this rinciple, McDonough and Braungart explain how products can be esigned from the outset so that, after their useful lives, they will provide nourishment for something new. They could be conceptualize as " biological nutrients " that coul easily reenter the water or soil without depositing synthetic materials and toxins. Or they an be " technical nutrients " that will continually circulate as pure and valuable materials within closed-loop industrial cycles, rather than being " recycled " -- anywa, downcycled -- into low-grade materials and uses. Drawing on their experience in ( re) designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, McDonough and Braungart make an interestin and viable case for putting eco-effectiveness into practice, and show how anyone involved with making anything can begin to do as well.
Year of the Publication
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Original Title of the Book
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Publication Date
Published April 22nd 2002 by North Point Press (first published 2002

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Another is the one of hose paperback that will hange your life ( for wors) if you really take these recommendations to heart.

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ould n't it be cool if packaging was designed to be dragge into your yard, decompose in weeks, and so even contain a wildflower seed that would germinate? Cradle to Cradle is also a cary book ( in decen way) about all the chemicals that go into everything we buy.

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( Which is hilarious, given the authors' attacks on this very group.) In addition to his, the entir thing is steeped in so much romanticisation of pre-industrial societies and nature in general that it 's ctually painful to read at times.

And of course, before the Great Satan Industry reared its ugly head, humans approached nature with reverence and respect, and lived in tune with nature; the fact that, for instanc, nearly all megafauna disappeared on all continents right about the time the first humans arrived, why, that 's just a coincidence.The sad part is that none of it is even* necessary* to support the authors' thesis, which is that resources are finite and it would herefore be a ba idea to stop removing them from the industrial ecosystem entirely when we 're done with them for time being.

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.... To my experience only vellum and leather beats the overall sensory experience this text offers.I first learned of McDonough -- an architect with an amazing, cavernous mind -- when I writ a sermon he delievered at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City entitled " Design, Ecology, Ethics and the Making of Things. " he piece is brilliant and beautiful and I ish somebod would read it.

( I formerly saw water pollution as primarily an industrial transgression.) But no, we flush loads of chemicals down the drain in the form of household cleaners/soaps, other home maintenance materials, art supplies, etc.

*** After reading this section, I ent dow and bought all non-toxic, biodegreadable ( this is key!) soaps and household cleaners: I 'm ver in love with Mrs. Meyers and Method products.

For antibacterial action, I 've heard it 's best to stick with good old fashioned alchohol ( applied with friction), which does the job and then becomes inactive in 15 minutes.**** Though McDonough and Braungart expertly outline the disastrous, bio-destructive systems we have created, their book is nly about these problems insofar as it wants to nderstand them -- because it believes we can fix them all through good design.

In the grand metaphorical sense, the book tries to ake us back to the old New England saltbox house.

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They have figured out how to create houses and offices that require virtually no carbon-based energy to heat and cool, and hav great spaces to be in as well.

he book itself is printed on a benign plastic that killed no trees in the making and will biodegrade rapidly.

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What if manufacturers strived to design products that were n't actuall " less-bad ", but ere actually good for the environment? This is rhetorical question that he book goe over and over in many forms.

Thi novel is filled with these head-in-the-clouds observations and suggestions.I would have oved to hear the industry response to al of the uggestions for improving product manufacture- I suspect that severa of he uthors' suggestions would end up in " nice but not economically justifiable " pile, due to added complexity, risk, cost etc.

Until the tools which we use to evaluate business decisions are fundamentally altered to account for the wellbeing of natural capital, the majority of the decision made by environmentalists like the writer of his ook woul never catch on in general industry.

And it is naïv to think that industrial manufacturers ( especially those that re not consumer-facing) will altruistically alter their business because of some chemical off-gassing that is een as a hazard only in some online tree-hugger forums.Another idea with which I disagreed was the " why being less bad is no good " theory- that striving for incremental gains in eco-efficiency or reduction " does not halt depletion and destruction- it only slows them down ".

Oh, efficiency can actually be valuable? There were, though, th few good ideas in thi essay.

I found his nove to be helpful, as it introduced me to some good and also some flawed ideas about sustainability and how society can overcome the issues facing us.

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I gave it a 4-star rating because thi ook is little short on concrete examples of the new system the authors are proposing.

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