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Cradle to Cradle - William McDonough & Michael Braungart

Cradle to Cradle

Author William McDonough & Michael Braungart

  • Published: 2010-03-01
  • Category: Nature


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.

Top Customer Reviews

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    From justin loucks
    As a graduate student in architecture I was aquatinted with this book and it's concepts in school from an early age in my education. After reading through I was slightly disappointed that the books reputation is greater than the words. Still a great, thought provoking book, and important for students and practitioners alike to have read. Clear , with a bit of wit here a there a comfortable read.