Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

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Macmillan, Mar 1, 2010 - Nature - 208 pages
30 Reviews

A manifesto for a radically different philosophy and practice of manufacture and environmentalism

"Reduce, reuse, recycle" urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. But as this provocative, visionary book argues, this approach perpetuates a one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world?

In fact, why not take nature itself as our model? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we do not consider its abundance wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective; hence, "waste equals food" is the first principle the book sets forth. Products might be designed so that, after their useful life, they provide nourishment for something new-either as "biological nutrients" that safely re-enter the environment or as "technical nutrients" that circulate within closed-loop industrial cycles, without being "downcycled" into low-grade uses (as most "recyclables" now are).

Elaborating their principles from experience (re)designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, William McDonough and Michael Braungart make an exciting and viable case for change.

 

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Interesting Book

User Review  - patrick08 - Overstock.com

Ive been reading this book for an Environmental Engineering course at Texas A&M University. It has been an interesting read even if I dont completely agree with all of the authors opinions and ... Read full review

Review: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

User Review  - Overstock.com

Very good read. They make a strong case for the possibility to develop changes that are beneficial to both industry and the environment. It starts off a little bit on the doomsaying side however their ... Read full review

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Contents

This Book Is Not a Tree
3
A Question of Design
17
Why Being Less Bad Is No Good
45
EcoEffectiveness
68
Waste Equals Food
92
Respect Diversity
118
Putting EcoEffectiveness into Practice
157
Notes
187
Acknowledgments
193
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

William McDonough is an architect and the founding principal of William McDonough + Partners, Architecture and Community Design, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. From 1994 to 1999 he served as dean of the school of architecture at the University of Virginia. In 1999 Time magazine recognized him as a "Hero for the Planet," stating that "his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world." In 1996, he received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the highest environmental honor given by United States.

Michael Braungart is a chemist and the founder of the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) in Hamburg, Germany. Prior to starting EPEA, he was the director of the chemistry section for Greenpeace. Since 1984 he has been lecturing at universities, businesses, and institutions around the world on critical new concepts for ecological chemistry and materials flow management. Dr. Braungart is the recipient of numerous honors, awards, and fellowships from the Heinz Endowment, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, and other organizations.

In 1995 the authors created McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (www.mbdc.com), a product and systems development firm assisting client companies in implementing their unique sustaining design protocol. Their clients include Ford Motor Company, Nike, Herman Miller, BASF, DesignTex, Pendleton, Volvo, and the city of Chicago.

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