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Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things


Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

ratings:
4/5 (23 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 11, 2008
ISBN:
9781400177615
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Editor's Note

Good (design) ideas for change…

What if instead of tweaking technology so that it pollutes less, we designed it to nourish the environment instead? This mind-blowing manifesto says bad design creates waste — and shares some very good ideas for (clean) change.

Description

"Reduce, reuse, recycle," urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. As William McDonough and Michael Braungart argue in their provocative, visionary book, however, 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? they ask.



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 redesigning everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, the authors make an exciting and viable case for change.
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 11, 2008
ISBN:
9781400177615
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

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.


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What people think about Cradle to Cradle

4.0
23 ratings / 13 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Critic reviews

  • Stopping climate change is going to take a systemic overhaul. Architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart redesign the environmental playbook from the ground up. They show how creating more sustainable buildings and products requires initiating a new industrial revolution — a revolution that is entirely within the realm of technical and political possibility.

    Scribd Editors

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Read this for Sustainability Book Club. Interesting ideas, not sure how to make them happen. The book itself is an example of redesigning objects to fulfill the principles of sustainability. Made from synthetic paper, the ink can be washed off and reused when the book is recycled.
  • (4/5)
    Scary. And educational - I was shocked to learn that chromium is used in leather tanning. Bottom line - doing less bad is still no good. Bottomer line - we have to change just about everything that we do. Cradle to grave is fallacious. As for throwing away - there is no more "away".



    While the book is really aimed at industry, there's a message for everyday humans. This book is idealistic and unrealistic, but that bottom line above still stares us in the face and in the end something must be done, or it will be the end.



    One really cool thing is that it is printed on a recycled/recyclable plastic "paper" with a reusable, non-toxic ink. It's heavier than a normal book of its size, but it still feels like paper.
  • (3/5)
    I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it was interesting and inspiring to read about the authors' firm's eco-efficient designs. But for the most part it still seemed pretty pie in the sky--great ideas that unfortunately aren't feasible at this time.

    I also don't like the authors' premise that it's possible to live an ecologically sound life without reducing consumption. It sounds appealing to believe that one shouldn't have to sacrifice one's lifestyle in order to fix the planet, but isn't uncritical consumption what got us into this environmental mess in the first place?
  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    The author had a lot of criticism, a few ideas, and not a lot of action. Talking about the environment is not a very effective way to do anything about it. I was also creeped out by the author's veiled religious references. I also didn't appreciate the stereotypical notion that Native American people are environmentally minded and we should learn from them.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    I'm a freecycle/recycle/thriftshop geek and William McDonough's book, written with his colleague, the German chemist Michael Braungart, is a manifesto calling for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design.
  • (5/5)
    Challenges our thinking about how everything around us is designed and how we use it.
  • (5/5)
    Great book - everyone should read this. Some great practical ways to think about design and the way we go about life. Read it!
  • (2/5)
    The authors of this book should, perhaps, stick with architecture and chemistry and leave writing books to others. The overall concept behind Cradle to Cradle is an interesting one, which is what prompted me to pick up this book in the first place. Unfortunately, I found this book incredibly boring, though I managed to struggle through to page 61 before giving up. Life is too short to read boring books! To add insult to injury, the authors have decided to prove their point by publishing their book on some kind of synthetic paper, making a relatively small book incredibly heavy to carry around. Cradle to Cradle will definitely not be making my recommendations list!
  • (5/5)
    mind shifting. must read!
  • (5/5)
    Want to change the way you look at every thing you own or consider purchasing? Here's how.
  • (3/5)
    The most notable feature of Cradle to Cradle is the book itself. It is not paper, cardboard or newsprint, but rather made entirely of plastic. This provides the reader with a completely waterproof and very durable book which is then fully recyclable when finished. The physical book is an example of what the book teaches: we need to reevaluate and revolutionize current products. Throughout the book, the authors want products that do not just wind up in a landfill after being used, rotting away (a “Cradle to Grave” scenario). The natural resources are used for one product, and then are wasted when thrown away. Instead, the authors envision a system where a product is used by a consumer, then taken back by the manufacturer to be completely reworked as another product. This is called “upcycling” or a “Cradle to Cradle” scenario. Using examples from nature, the authors encourage manufacturers to not simply use organic or “less bad” products and call it “eco-friendly.” Rather, they want the entire manufacturing process (starting with the warehouse/building itself) to be rethought and completely redesigned, in order to make it “eco-efficient.”Unfortunately, the book focuses too much on the evils of Cradle to Grave products instead of encouraging the reader with ideas for renewable and reusable products. The authors use some examples of “eco-efficient” design, but they are in the minority and scattered throughout the book. Instead of learning all the benefits of new systems, the book takes too much time preaching against the Industrial Revolution and its byproducts. A good book, but comes across as somewhat condemning.
  • (5/5)
    this is an absolutely fantastic book that everyone needs to read. it is a critique of our disposable society, but it offers real hope and good ideas for the future. the main premise is that all of the products we use should have a cradle to cradle design, whereas now most have a cradle to grave design. they are not created to be reused. even recycling is not as useful when the product wasn't designed to be reused in that way. this could change not only the design of everyday products, but the way we use them and see them as a part of our world.
  • (4/5)
    A great perspective on redesigning the way we approach recycling and resources in general.