Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McdonoughCradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William Mcdonough

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

byWilliam Mcdonough, Michael Braungart

Paperback | April 22, 2002

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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.

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 th...
Title:Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make ThingsFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:208 pages, 8.14 × 5.25 × 0.81 inShipping dimensions:8.14 × 5.25 × 0.81 inPublished:April 22, 2002Publisher:Farrar, Straus And GirouxLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0865475873

ISBN - 13:9780865475878


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A BIG PASSING GRADE My favourite part is the story about the chair made by first eliminating all of the dozens of toxic ingredients from the textile process. It turned out to be softer, more breathable, and compostable compared to its toxic counterpart. I want to be able to compost my living room furniture after I'm bored of the colour. I want to live beside a textile factory from which the used water effluent was cleaner than the water provided to them by the municipality, as the one described in this book. WHY can I not buy stuff like this? Maybe we latch too closely to existing technologies, maybe its expensive to research & develop new ones. I do think our government and educational institutions must play a role in this, help get us over the hump and into new ways of making things, new ways of thinking, and new ways of consuming. Maybe if all our leaders read this book, we would be that much closer to achieving human systems that are designed to be compatible with Earth's natural principles.
Date published: 2015-03-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Highly Disappointing I am surprised that this book is so popular. I found it to be full of criticisms, criticisms and more criticisms of our current practices but with few solutions other than broad, nonspecific suggestions. I had hoped for insights into positive things that can be done to be more ecoconscious but found almost none. They sugggest 1-redesigning products so they can be recycled into good quality materials that can be used again 2-redesigning packaging so it can be biodegradable To disagree with these motherhood-types of suggestions would be like disagreeing that childen should be fed or we should't pollute rivers until all life is dead in them. I would love to have heard how their suggestions could be implemented or followed, and what products or practices we can use would support these solutions. I see simple things being done all around me that are ecoconscious and would love to have learned from their experiences and insights about things I could do more ecoconscious. What's new, what can we do, which of our ideas need rethinking, what little things can we do that would make a difference... They suggest we make books out of materials that are recyclable (but acknowledge this technology doesn't exsit yet), plant green roofs to reduce the deluge of runoff that often overwhlems storm sewers (and in our area this sends untreated sewage into the ocean), plant plants for bioremediation, make a carpet where the backing detaches from a recyclable top, consider toxic chemicals in clothes and materials consumer products are made form.... Great ideas, but I don't know how I can do these things. Maybe websites or references could have been given with information on how to implement ecoconscious practices? I've never written a book reveiw, but this book actually made me mad enough to do it because the authors write from such a smugly superior and holier-than-thou position. There are many people who want to bring about positive change and would love to make choices to be more eco-conscious, but the book doesn't suggest any real actions we can take in our every day living to do this. How disappointing because they are clearly committed to and involved in their field. This book was highly disappointing to me.
Date published: 2010-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An important book Ever since my high school days many years ago I have been intrigued by the idea of progress. I have come to the conclusion that, for many folks, progress is what American marketers say it is. In other words, most progress is crap. Now, in this book, the authors offer a coherent philosophy, along with step-by-step instructions, that offers some alternatives to North American marketing. This book, one of the most important in the last two or three generations, is a wonderful read for thoughtful people. But it you're the sort of person who runs out and buys whatever the television commercials tell you to buy, skip it.
Date published: 2005-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cradle to Cradle Waste. We all create waste indirectly and directly as consumers on the planet Earth. We recycle right? Return our bottles and cans and recycle our newspapers and have the best of intentions to re-use and reduce. Is it enough and is it the right way to go? Most products are designed for one use only and recycling in most cases results in downcycling, producing gradually lower and lower quality products that need to be treated and developed with great cost and energy to eventually end up in a landfill in another form. It is a cradle to grave mentality and it is time for a new way to think. Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Micheal Braungart enlightens us on eco-efficiency and the necessity to become more symbiotic with nature. Their idea is that industries and products should follow the thought that ‘waste equals food’ as it does in the natural world. Ants and cherry trees don’t have landfills, they each have their vital part in the ecosystem using the resources at hand and the e
Date published: 2002-09-24

Editorial Reviews

"Environmentalists too rarely apply the ecological wisdom of life to our problems. Asking how a cherry tree would design an energy efficient building is only one of the creative 'practices' that McDonough and Braungart spread, like a field of wild flowers, before their readers. This book will give you renewed hope that, indeed, 'it is darkest before the dawn'." -Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club"Achieving the great economic transition to more equitable, ecologically sustainable societies requires nothing less than a design revolution--beyond today's fossilized industrialism. This enlightened and enlightening book shows us how--and indeed, that 'God is in the details.' A must for every library and every concerned citizen." -Hazel Henderson, author of Building a Win-Win World and Beyond Globalization: Shaping a Sustainable Global Economy"[McDonough and Braungart's] ideas are bold, imaginative, and deserving of serious attention." -Ben Ehrenreich, Mother Jones magazine"[A] clear, accessible manifesto... the authors' original concepts are an inspiring reminder that humans are capable to much more elegant environmental solutions than the ones we've settled for in the last half-century." -Publishers Weekly"A readable provocative treatise that 'gets outside the box' in a huge way. Timely and inspiring." -Kirkus Reviews"Our planet is alive and the wondrous web of biodiversity provides us with all we need -- clean air, water, soil, and energy, as well as food, medicine, resources. Whatever we do, that's what should be the highest priority for protection and we have to adapt everything else to that end. With this book, McDonough and Braungart open our eyes to the way to genuine sustainability by the study of nature and mimicking her ways. This is a groundbreaking book that should be the Bible for the Second Industrial Revolution." -Dr. David Suzuki, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia