The argument behind Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things is simple.
The authors – Michael Braungart & William McDonough consider the idea that all products should eventually be disposable to be deeply flawed and they argue that we need to rethink the way we approach industry as a species.
This isn’t, however, some sort of impractical 1960s new age philosophy that ends in a group hug and talk of peace and love. It is a philosophy firmly grounded in science.
Waste Means Food Products
The authors say that “reduce, reuse, recycle” traps us into a circle where disposability of products is always at the forefront of the creative processes. They urge us to turn to nature for the way to revitalize industry so that it benefits the planet rather than destroying it.
“Waste means food” products could be designed so that when they are finished with they could be used to provide “biological nutrients” (think materials that could be fed to animals or broken down by bacteria into harmless products) or “technological nutrients” (that is materials which can be reused with the technical system closed loop without ever being “downcycled”).
Real World Use Applications
Michael Braungart and William McDonough have plenty of genuine practical experience at putting their principles into use in the real world.
They’ve redesigned an incredible number of things (including carpets and college campuses) to be better for their environment.
Cradle to Cradle is a rare book that offers real and commercially viable solutions to the peril our planet currently faces.
You can check out Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by Michael Braungart and William McDonough on Amazon.