Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things

Cradle to Cradle: by William McDonough & Michael Braungart

The first thing special you will feel about this book is how it actually feels. And there is a good reason for that. In going with the theme of this book, the chemist (Michael) and architect (William) authors have published this book on material that not only feels smooth and nice but also is 100% reusable. It’s printed on..you would never guess, so here goes: polypropelyne film! It’s probably one of a few if not the only book of it’s kind.

I have been reading a lot of books on the issue of sustainability. This is partly because I am concerned about our planet and secondarily,  I am trying to find my own niche in this ever-expanding industry. I must say, of the 10 odd books I have read so far, this is by far the best and most unusual. It’s more of a vision of a future world with ideas like water going into an industrial plant being less clean than water coming out. It was an interesting anecdote and made me long to just fast forward our world to that kind of future.

Another great story was about the excessive use of Styrofoam in our world. You have probably come in contact with it more than once already today. The authors suggest that  we could make it a little different (and go on to claim that it’s possible in today’s world of technical know-how). And instead of people in developing countries littering the train tracks with their Styrofoam packaging, farmers would have bins at station stops to collect the biodegradable material for their farms and if thrown on tracks these would not only biodegrade but have seeds in them that would germinate and grow right there.

Their firm MBDC does projects for companies (mostly in Europe) where they go in to change one thing about the manufacturing process and end up redefining the whole business process (known as cradle to cradle design) which in the long run does make the company more profitable. What an amazing thought and concept!

The book believes and proves through many examples: “Growth is not only good, but necessary. The key is the right kind of growth — and the key to that is better design.” They believe everything can be redesigned with one thing in mind..going back to where it came from. If everything we built (including each individual component) was meant to not create trash but be consumed in some way, shape or form, we would have a much healthier planet, people and believe it or not economy.

To learn more about the authors, the book or their company, please visit their website.

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2 Responses to Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things

  1. Nan says:

    I just received a package on Wednesday with styrofoam peanuts. Most of the time, packages now come with a few pillows of plastic wrap, but is that better?

  2. tamannam says:

    I don’t think that’s better..but I wish it would be easier to reuse this..somewhere where you can drop it off and it gets collected from everyone and just reused…long way to go before that dream is fulfilled. Have you checked out IBM’s smart planet website recently? it’s really good and chockful of ideas..

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