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Cradle to Cradle : Remaking the Way We Make Things (Paperback) (William McDonough & Michael Braungart)
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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. 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 (re)designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, the authors make an exciting and viable case for change.
Architect McDonough and chemist Braungart use this little book with its curved corners and strangely smooth paper to embody and represent one of two kinds of engineering which they advocate: development of materials that can be perpetually reused in technology (the authors claim the material can be continually remade into other books and recycled). The other heralded mode of engineering promises the elimination of anthropogenic waste which is not biodegradable into food. In sum, the two maker-thinkers promote the manufacture of objects that usefully die by means of processes and objects that usefully never die. One of the more memorable phrases, "less bad is no good," relates to their envisioned industrial re-revolution, one in which reduction, reuse, and recycling pale in comparison to upcycling, where products nourish or help nourish the planet. No index and few bibliographic notes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Number of Pages: 193
Sub-Genre: Environmental Conservation + Protection
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Author: William McDonough & Michael Braungart
Street Date: April 1, 2002
Item Number (DPCI): 248-23-6697
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