Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things[Epub] ➝ Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things By William McDonough – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Reduce, reuse, recycle, urge environmentalists in other words, do with less in order to minimize damage But as architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart point out in this provocative, Reduce, Cradle: Remaking the Way Kindle - reuse, recycle, Cradle: Remaking MOBI ò urge environmentalists in other words, do with less in order to minimize damage But as architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart point out in this provocative, visionary book, such an approach only perpetuates the one way, cradle to grave manufacturing model, dating to the Industrial Revolution, that creates such fantastic amounts of waste and pollution in the first place Why not challenge the belief that human Cradle to eBook à industry must damage the natural world In fact, why not take nature itself as our model for making things A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we consider its abundance not wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effectiveWaste equals food Guided by this principle, McDonough and Braungart explain how products can be designed from the outset so that, after their useful lives, they will provide to Cradle: Remaking PDF/EPUB Ä nourishment for something new They can be conceived as biological nutrients that will easily reenter the water or soil without depositing synthetic materials and toxins Or they can be technical nutrients that will continually circulate as pure and valuable materials within closed loop industrial cycles, rather than being recycled really, downcycled into low grade materials and uses Drawing on their experience in re designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, McDonough and Braungart make an exciting and viable case for putting eco effectiveness into practice, and show how anyone involved with making anything can begin to do as well. Three stars doesn t quite do justice to this book Its ideas merit five stars, but the text sags a bit and tends to repeat itself a lot, thereby losing some power What the text lacks in eloquence, however, it makes up for in tactility I couldn t stop petting this book Its synthetic paper pages felt so resilient and smooth and sleek The authors chose to make a recyclable, treeless book from from plastic resins and inorganic fillers It is waterproof and with a certain treatment its pages Three stars doesn t quite do justice to this book Its ideas merit five stars, but the text sags a bit and tends to repeat itself a lot, thereby losing some power What the text lacks in eloquence, however, it makes up for in tactility I couldn t stop petting this book Its synthetic paper pages felt so resilient and smooth and sleek The authors chose to make a recyclable, treeless book from from plastic resins and inorganic fillers It is waterproof and with a certain treatment its pages can be wiped clean and reprinted with a new text It has the capacity to be recycled as a book many times over or it could be reincarnated as another plastic item.To my experience only vellum and leather beats the overall sensory experience this text offers.I first learned of McDonough an architect with an amazing, cavernous mind when I read a sermon he delievered at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City entitled Design, Ecology, Ethics and the Making of Things The piece is brilliant and beautiful and I wish everyone would read it It contains many of the ideas presented in Cradle to Cradle in a muchcompelling, succinct way Here is a link to an awkardly formated, but well proofed pdf of the piece Design, Ecology, Ethics and the Making of Things by William McDonoughThis is an HTML version that might be easier to look at in some ways but is sloppy with lots of typos Design, Ecology, Ethics and the Making of Things by William McDonoughIn Cradle to Cradle, McDonough an American architect and Braungart a German chemist uncover the way that bio destructive practices permeate every aspect of our lives They describe how toxic materials are hidden in almost everything around us our fabrics and textiles, our machines, our food containers, our food , our toiletries, our technology, our furniture, our buildings, etc, etc It s truly staggering Their section on water was also particularly memorable I learned that households are responsible for muchwater pollution than I had previously thought I formerly saw water pollution as primarily an industrial transgression But no, we flush loads of chemicals down the drain in the form of household cleaners soaps, other home maintenance materials, art supplies, etc Additionally, we flush chemo, hormones, and other medicated effluents into our waterways from our homes and hospitals And now, with our culture s obsession with antibacterial cleansers, we re suffusing our waste water with bacteria killing elements that prevent the breakdown of our sewage and slop After reading this section, I went out and bought all non toxic, biodegreadable this is key soaps and household cleaners I m particularly in love with Mrs Meyers and Method products For antibacterial action, I ve heard it s best to stick with good old fashioned alchohol applied with friction , which does the job and then becomes inactive in 15 minutes Though McDonough and Braungart expertly outline the disastrous, bio destructive systems we have created, their book is only about these problems insofar as it seeks to understand them because it believes we can fix them all through good design Good design in an environmental sense has been nearly dead for over one hundred years and McDonough and Braungart are trying to revive it Because the industrial revolution furnished us with the fossil fuel power to override natural systems and natural energy flows, design has paid little attention to natural systems and natural energy flows for the past century For example, architects no longer situate buildings, their windows, and surrounding trees with regard to the patterns of the sun, instead they disregard this free and powerful energy source and design our buildings with artificial systems electric lights, AC, central heat, etc to regulate light and temperature indoors And this is how we design most things and most products But, we pay through the nose to live this way to live within poor, unintelligently designed infrastructure that is ignorant of the natural systems and energy flows in which it exists like a foreign body or alien cancer sacrificing huge financial resources, large swaths of land, our health and the health of other living things.even I believe sacrificing the peace of nations In a grand metaphorical sense, this book wants to take us back to the old New England saltbox house One that was intelligently built of natural, local materials, with south facing windows and nearby stand of deciduous trees that allow copious sunlight in during the winter months when the sun is low and the trees are bare and then alternatively blocks the sunlight during the hot summer months when the sun is high and reflects off the deep eaves of the roof and is absorbed by the fully maned trees And I for one want to go there The central issue in this book is the notion that we can manufacture products and infrastructure that are really, actually good for the environment instead of simply being less bad.Here s an example of what on Earth that could possibly mean In making paper, you have two options 1 You can cut down a tree to make clean, high quality paper, but on a large scale this involves massive deforestation and the annihilation of ecosystems 2 You can recycle old paper However, paper fibers get shor The central issue in this book is the notion that we can manufacture products and infrastructure that are really, actually good for the environment instead of simply being less bad.Here s an example of what on Earth that could possibly mean In making paper, you have two options 1 You can cut down a tree to make clean, high quality paper, but on a large scale this involves massive deforestation and the annihilation of ecosystems 2 You can recycle old paper However, paper fibers get shorter and shorter thethey re recycled, requiringandenvironmentally questionable chemicals bleaches, stabilizers, etc to produce a product of less quality than the original The authors call this downcycling , which means just what it sounds like it means Finally, the chemicals involved in the creation of either kind of paper remain in the environment long after the paper fibers themselves decompose.So option 1 above is clearly bad, and option 2 is what they call less bad As an actually good alternative, they made their book out of some sort of inert plastic polymer that can be indefinitely recycled The pages are as papery as plastic can be, and overall the book feels the way a book should Maybe a little heavier than your typical 180 page book, but sturdier and waterproof I got hoisin sauce all over mine and it wiped right off Apparently, if you send this book back to the manufacturer it can be recycled into other books with close to zero loss in overall quality I want to stress that this argument hasn t changed my overall view of recycling In the absence of good options it still makes sense to pick the option which is least bad I ll continue to downcycle my junk until it s possible to, uh, upcycle, even if that merely postpones the apocalypse instead of preventing it This is a microcosm of what this book is actually about Right now, we as a society are locked into a false choice between the standard capitalist notion of progress and the standard environmentalist notion of sustainability This book presents a third option that goes a long way towards reconciling the two Rather than choose between progress and sustainability, why not design engineer sustainability into products, buildings, and infrasrtucture The authors argue that this extra design effort can be economical for businesses when you consider the overall cost of manufacturing They give the example of a manufacturing facility they designed in which the effluent water from the factory was actually cleaner than the influent It took some extra money to design, but now the business doesn t have to pay regulatory fees or worry about how to dispose of its liquid wastes Overall, that initial design effort saved them money.I guess this review is getting a little long Here is the punchline Environmentalism and industry don t necessarily have to be arch enemies I guess Captain Planet brainwashed me a little Intelligent systems design can create an industrial environment which is actually beneficial to local ecology This book gets four stars rather than five because I wish it was longer I wanteddetails about specific things that have been can be done in the service of this idea Instead, the book is short and talks in broad strokes for askeptical audience than me I would love to loan this book to you TL DR Defines an obvious problem and then offers no realistic solution to address it.I enjoyed the first half of this book, which was a staggering indictment of the industrialized consumer economy The authors then offer a manifesto for reshaping it so that growth could be positive For example, if cars cleaned the air instead of polluting it, we would seecars as a positive outcome, not something to lament Despite the authors working in this field for decades, there weren t a lot of case TL DR Defines an obvious problem and then offers no realistic solution to address it.I enjoyed the first half of this book, which was a staggering indictment of the industrialized consumer economy The authors then offer a manifesto for reshaping it so that growth could be positive For example, if cars cleaned the air instead of polluting it, we would seecars as a positive outcome, not something to lament Despite the authors working in this field for decades, there weren t a lot of case studies and they all were quite superficial They helped transform a furniture factory in Germany to produce clean water as its waste output, but didn t explain how.Like many of these books, when it gets to the practical section, it completely breaks down into blue sky hand waving They pretend to be pragmatic and define five compounding steps 177 for a company to take on the path to their ideal of product design and production, but the steps glaze over why a company would care about any of this to begin with They condemn eco effectiveness without acknowledging that the only reason it even exists is because it saves money Who is going to invest in making a car that, instead of having many negative outputs, has positive ones, when our economic system is defined to its very core by rewarding bad behaviors The book pretty much devolved into this you wantpractical solutions to this problem, I suggest Fight Club Did you know that before the Industrial Revolution, everyone grew their own food That it was only during the Industrial Revolution that factory workers no longer had enough time to farm and were forced to move to the city and depend on others for it That banks and stock markets and what have you all came into existence only during the Industrial Revolution, to support the new born Capitalist Machine Oh, how na ve you were to think non agrarian middle classes and banks were around for millennia Did you know that before the Industrial Revolution, everyone grew their own food That it was only during the Industrial Revolution that factory workers no longer had enough time to farm and were forced to move to the city and depend on others for it That banks and stock markets and what have you all came into existence only during the Industrial Revolution, to support the new born Capitalist Machine Oh, how na ve you were to think non agrarian middle classes and banks were around for millennia before the Industrial Revolution, and that stock markets date back to the 12th or 13th century Alright, so the book s central thesis is straightforward and relatively uncontroversial and completely apparent from the title the incredible amount of bullshit it s draped in gets on my nerves.This nonsense about the Industrial Revolution is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fields in which the authors are jarringly ignorant, though admittedly basic history is probably their weakest point with basic biology being a close second There s also a lot of handwaving about agriculture, the way people build houses, chemicals in consumer products from countries with weaker regulations than ours, chemicals in consumer products from poor recycling practices, chemicals in consumer products that are legal in our countries but poorly understood, chemicals in our fertilisers, chemicals in our drinking water from our sewage treatment techniques, the artistic and spiritual aridity of efficiency, the counter productiveness of many current environmental programs, c sensible things can be said on each well, most of these topics, but the authors don t Instead, they re only there as contentless shibboleths for other brain dead environmentalists Which is ironic, given the authors attacks on this very group In addition to this, the whole thing is steeped in so much romanticisation of pre industrial societies and nature in general that it s actually painful to read at times Apparently cherry trees and ant colonies are wonderful examples of sustainability and balance with nature, as if cherry trees don t want to deprive other plants of as much sunlight as they can possibly get away with, and as if ants don t regularly collapse entire ecosystems And of course, before the Great Satan Industry reared its ugly head, humans approached nature with reverence and respect, and lived in tune with nature the fact that, for example, nearly all megafauna disappeared on all continents right about the time the first humans arrived, why, that s just a coincidence.The sad part is that none of it is even necessary to support the authors thesis, which is that resources are finite and it would therefore be a good idea to stop removing them from the industrial ecosystem entirely when we re done with them for the time being Any idiot could see that that just makes sense.Of course, it s hard to fill an entire book with just that Even with all the nonsense, they didn t even manage to get to 200 pages.All of that, and the fact that most of their sub ideas like products as a service are just brain damaged, make Cradle to Cradle the kind of wooly minded mush that gives environmentalism a bad name Which is a pity, because it could have been great Everyone on the planet should read this book The authors, one a chemist, and the other an architect, have thoughtdeeply about what green truly means in terms of the environment than anybody else What they say will surprise you They are not big fans of recycling, for example, because most things that are recycled were not designed for same, and it takes a lot of energy to cycle them down to a lower use like recycling paper Instead, they argue for designing products from the grou Everyone on the planet should read this book The authors, one a chemist, and the other an architect, have thoughtdeeply about what green truly means in terms of the environment than anybody else What they say will surprise you They are not big fans of recycling, for example, because most things that are recycled were not designed for same, and it takes a lot of energy to cycle them down to a lower use like recycling paper Instead, they argue for designing products from the ground up that don t require pollution to be made and can be reused many times without losing value or quality But it s their designs for buildings that are especially wonderful They have figured out how to create houses and offices that require virtually no carbon based energy to heat and cool, and are great spaces to be in as well The book itself is printed on a benign plastic that killed no trees in the making and will biodegrade rapidly Indeed, a seed is bound into the spine, so that if you throw this book away you will literally plant a tree Cool Very cool Belike ants and cherry trees I just saved you the trouble of reading this repetitive bore.Other than that, be prepared for rhetorical questions basically the same one using a different example or with slight variations in phrasing What would have happened, we sometimes wonder, if the Industrial Revolution had taken place in societies that emphasize the community over the individual, and where people believed not in a cradle to grave life cycle but in reincarnation Seriously, I just sa Belike ants and cherry trees I just saved you the trouble of reading this repetitive bore.Other than that, be prepared for rhetorical questions basically the same one using a different example or with slight variations in phrasing What would have happened, we sometimes wonder, if the Industrial Revolution had taken place in societies that emphasize the community over the individual, and where people believed not in a cradle to grave life cycle but in reincarnation Seriously, I just saved you 186 pages Thank me at your leisure.Pros You can throw this book in a lake and it will survive.Cons It will survive Pretty much as advertised a screed in a good way against the normal cradle to grave paradigm of consumerism and short sighted product design For instance Isn t it funny that in, say, apple juice boxes, the product inside has a shorter shelf life than the packaging Why would the packaging bedurable than its product Wouldn t it be cool if packaging was designed to be tossed into your yard, decompose in weeks, and maybe even contain a wildflower seed that would germinate Cradle to Cr Pretty much as advertised a screed in a good way against the normal cradle to grave paradigm of consumerism and short sighted product design For instance Isn t it funny that in, say, apple juice boxes, the product inside has a shorter shelf life than the packaging Why would the packaging bedurable than its product Wouldn t it be cool if packaging was designed to be tossed into your yard, decompose in weeks, and maybe even contain a wildflower seed that would germinate Cradle to Cradle is also a scary book in a good way about all the chemicals that go into everything we buy There s this thing called off gassing where they test what chemicals a normal product a spatula, an iPod speaker, a sneaker sole gives off as it s used and knocked around Turns out that as products decompose a bit, their chemicals get into our food and indoor air, and that kind of poisoning generally isn t prohibited or regulated Or if it is, it s at the chemical level there s a bad list of proven carcinogens, instead of a good list of chemicals known to be safe I agree now Every product should come with an ingredients list so you know if you re buying toxic and carcinogenic chemicals when you buy, say, an extension cord Theyou know.Read this book, if only to freak you out in a good way What if manufacturers strived to design products that weren t simply less bad , but were actually good for the environment This is the rhetorical question that the book asks over and over in many forms Many of the ideas and the intent of the book are 5 star worthy the writing and rhetoric, however, are not.I thought key flaw in this book was naivet the authors were simply overly idealistic Asking questions like Imagine how useful it would be if industry had a way to recover that copper i What if manufacturers strived to design products that weren t simply less bad , but were actually good for the environment This is the rhetorical question that the book asks over and over in many forms Many of the ideas and the intent of the book are 5 star worthy the writing and rhetoric, however, are not.I thought key flaw in this book was naivet the authors were simply overly idealistic Asking questions like Imagine how useful it would be if industry had a way to recover that copper instead of constantly losing it Well, gee, don t you think that thought may have crossed the mind of Mr Copper executive at some point and if there were a good way he would use it The book is filled with these head in the clouds observations and suggestions.I would have loved to hear the industry response to some of the suggestions for improving product manufacture I suspect that many of the authors suggestions would end up in the nice but not economically justifiable pile, due to added complexity, risk, cost etc Basically, even as someone sympathetic to the intent of the book, I was not fully convinced that the authors knew enough about the nitty gritty details of these industries to be giving such general suggestions on how to improve operations For example, the authors brought up using rice husks as a packing material to replace styrofoam It sounds great on the surface rice husks are biodegradable, can be used post delivery as biofuel, insulation, or fertilizer But no mention was made of the logistics of such a replacement are rice husks economical Are they locally available in most parts of the world Are they a reasonable packing substitute performance wise It is easy to spout environmentally friendly recommendations on how to run a business but muchdifficult andcomplex not to mention riskier to implement them economically Until the tools which we use to evaluate business decisions are fundamentally altered to account for the health of natural capital, the majority of the recommendations made by environmentalists like the authors of this book will never catch on in general industry And it is naive to think that industrial manufacturers especially those that are not consumer facing will altruistically alter their business because of some chemical off gassing that is seen as a hazard only in some online tree hugger forums.Another idea with which I disagreed was the why being less bad is no good theory that striving for incremental gains in eco efficiency or reduction does not halt depletion and destruction it only slows them down I think the idea that efficiency should be shunned as some kind of ineffective half hearted compromise incorrectly ignores the regenerative capacity of the earth and places an unnecessary moral burden on industry The authors spend a good 5 10 pages demonizing incremental efficiency gains, criticizing German homes insulation for reducing indoor air quality in pursuit of energy efficiency, and a Turkish housing development s efficient but probably poor construction in a building collapse They were so hard on efficiency, they had to backtrack a little, offering this ridiculous statement This is not to condemn all efficiency When implemented as a tool within a larger, effective system that intends overall positive effects on a wide range of issues not simply economic ones efficiency can actually be valuable Oh, efficiency can actually be valuable There were, however, a few good ideas in the book One of my favorites was the realization that hardly anything that I ever buy is consumed it s simply used until it gets thrown out Think about it you may be referred to as a consumer, but there is very little that you actually consume some foods, some liquids Everything else is designed for you to throw away when you are finished with it But where is away Of course, away does not really exist I also agreed with the authors diagnosis that many of the flaws that plague design and create unintended consequences and waste are largely due to the brute force over nature vs design with nature dichotomy Many design strategies dictate that when something underperforms, just make it bigger Stronger Faster Thicker Whenever our development encroaches on nature, just grab nature by the neck and force it to do our will In my line of work, designing canals, levees and drainage structures, this is the conventional approach However, the authors correctly identify that by taking aholistic integrated approach to design, and designing with nature, many design challenges can be successfully solved I found this book to be useful, as it introduced me to some good and also some flawed ideas about sustainability and how society can overcome the issues facing us Amazing book Reusing is splendid Recycling is, recycling.Reducing is even better But if we don t stop how things are made, things are still going to deteriorate the earth.I am a huge fan of choosing what I buy based on how things are packaged if it is sustainable This is another one of those books that will change your life for the better if you really take these recommendations to heart example I don t even have a baby, and suddenly I want to use cloth diapers HAHH Highly recommende Amazing book Reusing is splendid Recycling is, recycling.Reducing is even better But if we don t stop how things are made, things are still going to deteriorate the earth.I am a huge fan of choosing what I buy based on how things are packaged if it is sustainable This is another one of those books that will change your life for the better if you really take these recommendations to heart example I don t even have a baby, and suddenly I want to use cloth diapers HAHH Highly recommended for anyone who cares about the planet4.8 5 Cradle to Cradle is a essentially book of questions, and a calling for people to not only re think the way we make things, but to re think the way we perceive ourselves as pitted against the natural world, rather than working with the natural world The age old paradigm of conquering nature and bend or in many cases break it to fit our needs is outmoded,short sighted, and, in fact, harmful not only to humans but the entire natural system The concept of Cradle to Cradle replaces the concept of Cradle to Cradle is a essentially book of questions, and a calling for people to not only re think the way we make things, but to re think the way we perceive ourselves as pitted against the natural world, rather than working with the natural world The age old paradigm of conquering nature and bend or in many cases break it to fit our needs is outmoded,short sighted, and, in fact, harmful not only to humans but the entire natural system The concept of Cradle to Cradle replaces the concept of Cradle to Grave, in which things goods have a entry point and an exit point in the consumption lifecycle A thing is born manufactured , it is consumed, and then thrown away Then a new thing is purchased The idea of cradle to cradle proposes a new model of manufacturing and consumption, one in which products are sold as a product of service , where the manufacturer, in a manner of speaking, leases the product to a customer, the customer uses the product, and at the end of the product s useful life as said product, is returned to the manufacturer, at which time the manufacturer is able to de construct the product, reuse many of the component pieces and materials embodied in the original product to make a new product The de construction of the product months or years later is possible only because the product was designed and engineered that way in the first place, which is the central idea of the book I gave it a 4 star rating because the book is a little short on concrete examples of the new system the authors are proposing Books that make me think, and question conventional wisdom are almost always going to get at least 4 stars with me

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things ePUB
    EPUB is an ebook file format that uses the epub must damage the natural world In fact, why not take nature itself as our model for making things A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we consider its abundance not wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effectiveWaste equals food Guided by this principle, McDonough and Braungart explain how products can be designed from the outset so that, after their useful lives, they will provide to Cradle: Remaking PDF/EPUB Ä nourishment for something new They can be conceived as biological nutrients that will easily reenter the water or soil without depositing synthetic materials and toxins Or they can be technical nutrients that will continually circulate as pure and valuable materials within closed loop industrial cycles, rather than being recycled really, downcycled into low grade materials and uses Drawing on their experience in re designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, McDonough and Braungart make an exciting and viable case for putting eco effectiveness into practice, and show how anyone involved with making anything can begin to do as well. Three stars doesn t quite do justice to this book Its ideas merit five stars, but the text sags a bit and tends to repeat itself a lot, thereby losing some power What the text lacks in eloquence, however, it makes up for in tactility I couldn t stop petting this book Its synthetic paper pages felt so resilient and smooth and sleek The authors chose to make a recyclable, treeless book from from plastic resins and inorganic fillers It is waterproof and with a certain treatment its pages Three stars doesn t quite do justice to this book Its ideas merit five stars, but the text sags a bit and tends to repeat itself a lot, thereby losing some power What the text lacks in eloquence, however, it makes up for in tactility I couldn t stop petting this book Its synthetic paper pages felt so resilient and smooth and sleek The authors chose to make a recyclable, treeless book from from plastic resins and inorganic fillers It is waterproof and with a certain treatment its pages can be wiped clean and reprinted with a new text It has the capacity to be recycled as a book many times over or it could be reincarnated as another plastic item.To my experience only vellum and leather beats the overall sensory experience this text offers.I first learned of McDonough an architect with an amazing, cavernous mind when I read a sermon he delievered at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City entitled Design, Ecology, Ethics and the Making of Things The piece is brilliant and beautiful and I wish everyone would read it It contains many of the ideas presented in Cradle to Cradle in a muchcompelling, succinct way Here is a link to an awkardly formated, but well proofed pdf of the piece Design, Ecology, Ethics and the Making of Things by William McDonoughThis is an HTML version that might be easier to look at in some ways but is sloppy with lots of typos Design, Ecology, Ethics and the Making of Things by William McDonoughIn Cradle to Cradle, McDonough an American architect and Braungart a German chemist uncover the way that bio destructive practices permeate every aspect of our lives They describe how toxic materials are hidden in almost everything around us our fabrics and textiles, our machines, our food containers, our food , our toiletries, our technology, our furniture, our buildings, etc, etc It s truly staggering Their section on water was also particularly memorable I learned that households are responsible for muchwater pollution than I had previously thought I formerly saw water pollution as primarily an industrial transgression But no, we flush loads of chemicals down the drain in the form of household cleaners soaps, other home maintenance materials, art supplies, etc Additionally, we flush chemo, hormones, and other medicated effluents into our waterways from our homes and hospitals And now, with our culture s obsession with antibacterial cleansers, we re suffusing our waste water with bacteria killing elements that prevent the breakdown of our sewage and slop After reading this section, I went out and bought all non toxic, biodegreadable this is key soaps and household cleaners I m particularly in love with Mrs Meyers and Method products For antibacterial action, I ve heard it s best to stick with good old fashioned alchohol applied with friction , which does the job and then becomes inactive in 15 minutes Though McDonough and Braungart expertly outline the disastrous, bio destructive systems we have created, their book is only about these problems insofar as it seeks to understand them because it believes we can fix them all through good design Good design in an environmental sense has been nearly dead for over one hundred years and McDonough and Braungart are trying to revive it Because the industrial revolution furnished us with the fossil fuel power to override natural systems and natural energy flows, design has paid little attention to natural systems and natural energy flows for the past century For example, architects no longer situate buildings, their windows, and surrounding trees with regard to the patterns of the sun, instead they disregard this free and powerful energy source and design our buildings with artificial systems electric lights, AC, central heat, etc to regulate light and temperature indoors And this is how we design most things and most products But, we pay through the nose to live this way to live within poor, unintelligently designed infrastructure that is ignorant of the natural systems and energy flows in which it exists like a foreign body or alien cancer sacrificing huge financial resources, large swaths of land, our health and the health of other living things.even I believe sacrificing the peace of nations In a grand metaphorical sense, this book wants to take us back to the old New England saltbox house One that was intelligently built of natural, local materials, with south facing windows and nearby stand of deciduous trees that allow copious sunlight in during the winter months when the sun is low and the trees are bare and then alternatively blocks the sunlight during the hot summer months when the sun is high and reflects off the deep eaves of the roof and is absorbed by the fully maned trees And I for one want to go there The central issue in this book is the notion that we can manufacture products and infrastructure that are really, actually good for the environment instead of simply being less bad.Here s an example of what on Earth that could possibly mean In making paper, you have two options 1 You can cut down a tree to make clean, high quality paper, but on a large scale this involves massive deforestation and the annihilation of ecosystems 2 You can recycle old paper However, paper fibers get shor The central issue in this book is the notion that we can manufacture products and infrastructure that are really, actually good for the environment instead of simply being less bad.Here s an example of what on Earth that could possibly mean In making paper, you have two options 1 You can cut down a tree to make clean, high quality paper, but on a large scale this involves massive deforestation and the annihilation of ecosystems 2 You can recycle old paper However, paper fibers get shorter and shorter thethey re recycled, requiringandenvironmentally questionable chemicals bleaches, stabilizers, etc to produce a product of less quality than the original The authors call this downcycling , which means just what it sounds like it means Finally, the chemicals involved in the creation of either kind of paper remain in the environment long after the paper fibers themselves decompose.So option 1 above is clearly bad, and option 2 is what they call less bad As an actually good alternative, they made their book out of some sort of inert plastic polymer that can be indefinitely recycled The pages are as papery as plastic can be, and overall the book feels the way a book should Maybe a little heavier than your typical 180 page book, but sturdier and waterproof I got hoisin sauce all over mine and it wiped right off Apparently, if you send this book back to the manufacturer it can be recycled into other books with close to zero loss in overall quality I want to stress that this argument hasn t changed my overall view of recycling In the absence of good options it still makes sense to pick the option which is least bad I ll continue to downcycle my junk until it s possible to, uh, upcycle, even if that merely postpones the apocalypse instead of preventing it This is a microcosm of what this book is actually about Right now, we as a society are locked into a false choice between the standard capitalist notion of progress and the standard environmentalist notion of sustainability This book presents a third option that goes a long way towards reconciling the two Rather than choose between progress and sustainability, why not design engineer sustainability into products, buildings, and infrasrtucture The authors argue that this extra design effort can be economical for businesses when you consider the overall cost of manufacturing They give the example of a manufacturing facility they designed in which the effluent water from the factory was actually cleaner than the influent It took some extra money to design, but now the business doesn t have to pay regulatory fees or worry about how to dispose of its liquid wastes Overall, that initial design effort saved them money.I guess this review is getting a little long Here is the punchline Environmentalism and industry don t necessarily have to be arch enemies I guess Captain Planet brainwashed me a little Intelligent systems design can create an industrial environment which is actually beneficial to local ecology This book gets four stars rather than five because I wish it was longer I wanteddetails about specific things that have been can be done in the service of this idea Instead, the book is short and talks in broad strokes for askeptical audience than me I would love to loan this book to you TL DR Defines an obvious problem and then offers no realistic solution to address it.I enjoyed the first half of this book, which was a staggering indictment of the industrialized consumer economy The authors then offer a manifesto for reshaping it so that growth could be positive For example, if cars cleaned the air instead of polluting it, we would seecars as a positive outcome, not something to lament Despite the authors working in this field for decades, there weren t a lot of case TL DR Defines an obvious problem and then offers no realistic solution to address it.I enjoyed the first half of this book, which was a staggering indictment of the industrialized consumer economy The authors then offer a manifesto for reshaping it so that growth could be positive For example, if cars cleaned the air instead of polluting it, we would seecars as a positive outcome, not something to lament Despite the authors working in this field for decades, there weren t a lot of case studies and they all were quite superficial They helped transform a furniture factory in Germany to produce clean water as its waste output, but didn t explain how.Like many of these books, when it gets to the practical section, it completely breaks down into blue sky hand waving They pretend to be pragmatic and define five compounding steps 177 for a company to take on the path to their ideal of product design and production, but the steps glaze over why a company would care about any of this to begin with They condemn eco effectiveness without acknowledging that the only reason it even exists is because it saves money Who is going to invest in making a car that, instead of having many negative outputs, has positive ones, when our economic system is defined to its very core by rewarding bad behaviors The book pretty much devolved into this you wantpractical solutions to this problem, I suggest Fight Club Did you know that before the Industrial Revolution, everyone grew their own food That it was only during the Industrial Revolution that factory workers no longer had enough time to farm and were forced to move to the city and depend on others for it That banks and stock markets and what have you all came into existence only during the Industrial Revolution, to support the new born Capitalist Machine Oh, how na ve you were to think non agrarian middle classes and banks were around for millennia Did you know that before the Industrial Revolution, everyone grew their own food That it was only during the Industrial Revolution that factory workers no longer had enough time to farm and were forced to move to the city and depend on others for it That banks and stock markets and what have you all came into existence only during the Industrial Revolution, to support the new born Capitalist Machine Oh, how na ve you were to think non agrarian middle classes and banks were around for millennia before the Industrial Revolution, and that stock markets date back to the 12th or 13th century Alright, so the book s central thesis is straightforward and relatively uncontroversial and completely apparent from the title the incredible amount of bullshit it s draped in gets on my nerves.This nonsense about the Industrial Revolution is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fields in which the authors are jarringly ignorant, though admittedly basic history is probably their weakest point with basic biology being a close second There s also a lot of handwaving about agriculture, the way people build houses, chemicals in consumer products from countries with weaker regulations than ours, chemicals in consumer products from poor recycling practices, chemicals in consumer products that are legal in our countries but poorly understood, chemicals in our fertilisers, chemicals in our drinking water from our sewage treatment techniques, the artistic and spiritual aridity of efficiency, the counter productiveness of many current environmental programs, c sensible things can be said on each well, most of these topics, but the authors don t Instead, they re only there as contentless shibboleths for other brain dead environmentalists Which is ironic, given the authors attacks on this very group In addition to this, the whole thing is steeped in so much romanticisation of pre industrial societies and nature in general that it s actually painful to read at times Apparently cherry trees and ant colonies are wonderful examples of sustainability and balance with nature, as if cherry trees don t want to deprive other plants of as much sunlight as they can possibly get away with, and as if ants don t regularly collapse entire ecosystems And of course, before the Great Satan Industry reared its ugly head, humans approached nature with reverence and respect, and lived in tune with nature the fact that, for example, nearly all megafauna disappeared on all continents right about the time the first humans arrived, why, that s just a coincidence.The sad part is that none of it is even necessary to support the authors thesis, which is that resources are finite and it would therefore be a good idea to stop removing them from the industrial ecosystem entirely when we re done with them for the time being Any idiot could see that that just makes sense.Of course, it s hard to fill an entire book with just that Even with all the nonsense, they didn t even manage to get to 200 pages.All of that, and the fact that most of their sub ideas like products as a service are just brain damaged, make Cradle to Cradle the kind of wooly minded mush that gives environmentalism a bad name Which is a pity, because it could have been great Everyone on the planet should read this book The authors, one a chemist, and the other an architect, have thoughtdeeply about what green truly means in terms of the environment than anybody else What they say will surprise you They are not big fans of recycling, for example, because most things that are recycled were not designed for same, and it takes a lot of energy to cycle them down to a lower use like recycling paper Instead, they argue for designing products from the grou Everyone on the planet should read this book The authors, one a chemist, and the other an architect, have thoughtdeeply about what green truly means in terms of the environment than anybody else What they say will surprise you They are not big fans of recycling, for example, because most things that are recycled were not designed for same, and it takes a lot of energy to cycle them down to a lower use like recycling paper Instead, they argue for designing products from the ground up that don t require pollution to be made and can be reused many times without losing value or quality But it s their designs for buildings that are especially wonderful They have figured out how to create houses and offices that require virtually no carbon based energy to heat and cool, and are great spaces to be in as well The book itself is printed on a benign plastic that killed no trees in the making and will biodegrade rapidly Indeed, a seed is bound into the spine, so that if you throw this book away you will literally plant a tree Cool Very cool Belike ants and cherry trees I just saved you the trouble of reading this repetitive bore.Other than that, be prepared for rhetorical questions basically the same one using a different example or with slight variations in phrasing What would have happened, we sometimes wonder, if the Industrial Revolution had taken place in societies that emphasize the community over the individual, and where people believed not in a cradle to grave life cycle but in reincarnation Seriously, I just sa Belike ants and cherry trees I just saved you the trouble of reading this repetitive bore.Other than that, be prepared for rhetorical questions basically the same one using a different example or with slight variations in phrasing What would have happened, we sometimes wonder, if the Industrial Revolution had taken place in societies that emphasize the community over the individual, and where people believed not in a cradle to grave life cycle but in reincarnation Seriously, I just saved you 186 pages Thank me at your leisure.Pros You can throw this book in a lake and it will survive.Cons It will survive Pretty much as advertised a screed in a good way against the normal cradle to grave paradigm of consumerism and short sighted product design For instance Isn t it funny that in, say, apple juice boxes, the product inside has a shorter shelf life than the packaging Why would the packaging bedurable than its product Wouldn t it be cool if packaging was designed to be tossed into your yard, decompose in weeks, and maybe even contain a wildflower seed that would germinate Cradle to Cr Pretty much as advertised a screed in a good way against the normal cradle to grave paradigm of consumerism and short sighted product design For instance Isn t it funny that in, say, apple juice boxes, the product inside has a shorter shelf life than the packaging Why would the packaging bedurable than its product Wouldn t it be cool if packaging was designed to be tossed into your yard, decompose in weeks, and maybe even contain a wildflower seed that would germinate Cradle to Cradle is also a scary book in a good way about all the chemicals that go into everything we buy There s this thing called off gassing where they test what chemicals a normal product a spatula, an iPod speaker, a sneaker sole gives off as it s used and knocked around Turns out that as products decompose a bit, their chemicals get into our food and indoor air, and that kind of poisoning generally isn t prohibited or regulated Or if it is, it s at the chemical level there s a bad list of proven carcinogens, instead of a good list of chemicals known to be safe I agree now Every product should come with an ingredients list so you know if you re buying toxic and carcinogenic chemicals when you buy, say, an extension cord Theyou know.Read this book, if only to freak you out in a good way What if manufacturers strived to design products that weren t simply less bad , but were actually good for the environment This is the rhetorical question that the book asks over and over in many forms Many of the ideas and the intent of the book are 5 star worthy the writing and rhetoric, however, are not.I thought key flaw in this book was naivet the authors were simply overly idealistic Asking questions like Imagine how useful it would be if industry had a way to recover that copper i What if manufacturers strived to design products that weren t simply less bad , but were actually good for the environment This is the rhetorical question that the book asks over and over in many forms Many of the ideas and the intent of the book are 5 star worthy the writing and rhetoric, however, are not.I thought key flaw in this book was naivet the authors were simply overly idealistic Asking questions like Imagine how useful it would be if industry had a way to recover that copper instead of constantly losing it Well, gee, don t you think that thought may have crossed the mind of Mr Copper executive at some point and if there were a good way he would use it The book is filled with these head in the clouds observations and suggestions.I would have loved to hear the industry response to some of the suggestions for improving product manufacture I suspect that many of the authors suggestions would end up in the nice but not economically justifiable pile, due to added complexity, risk, cost etc Basically, even as someone sympathetic to the intent of the book, I was not fully convinced that the authors knew enough about the nitty gritty details of these industries to be giving such general suggestions on how to improve operations For example, the authors brought up using rice husks as a packing material to replace styrofoam It sounds great on the surface rice husks are biodegradable, can be used post delivery as biofuel, insulation, or fertilizer But no mention was made of the logistics of such a replacement are rice husks economical Are they locally available in most parts of the world Are they a reasonable packing substitute performance wise It is easy to spout environmentally friendly recommendations on how to run a business but muchdifficult andcomplex not to mention riskier to implement them economically Until the tools which we use to evaluate business decisions are fundamentally altered to account for the health of natural capital, the majority of the recommendations made by environmentalists like the authors of this book will never catch on in general industry And it is naive to think that industrial manufacturers especially those that are not consumer facing will altruistically alter their business because of some chemical off gassing that is seen as a hazard only in some online tree hugger forums.Another idea with which I disagreed was the why being less bad is no good theory that striving for incremental gains in eco efficiency or reduction does not halt depletion and destruction it only slows them down I think the idea that efficiency should be shunned as some kind of ineffective half hearted compromise incorrectly ignores the regenerative capacity of the earth and places an unnecessary moral burden on industry The authors spend a good 5 10 pages demonizing incremental efficiency gains, criticizing German homes insulation for reducing indoor air quality in pursuit of energy efficiency, and a Turkish housing development s efficient but probably poor construction in a building collapse They were so hard on efficiency, they had to backtrack a little, offering this ridiculous statement This is not to condemn all efficiency When implemented as a tool within a larger, effective system that intends overall positive effects on a wide range of issues not simply economic ones efficiency can actually be valuable Oh, efficiency can actually be valuable There were, however, a few good ideas in the book One of my favorites was the realization that hardly anything that I ever buy is consumed it s simply used until it gets thrown out Think about it you may be referred to as a consumer, but there is very little that you actually consume some foods, some liquids Everything else is designed for you to throw away when you are finished with it But where is away Of course, away does not really exist I also agreed with the authors diagnosis that many of the flaws that plague design and create unintended consequences and waste are largely due to the brute force over nature vs design with nature dichotomy Many design strategies dictate that when something underperforms, just make it bigger Stronger Faster Thicker Whenever our development encroaches on nature, just grab nature by the neck and force it to do our will In my line of work, designing canals, levees and drainage structures, this is the conventional approach However, the authors correctly identify that by taking aholistic integrated approach to design, and designing with nature, many design challenges can be successfully solved I found this book to be useful, as it introduced me to some good and also some flawed ideas about sustainability and how society can overcome the issues facing us Amazing book Reusing is splendid Recycling is, recycling.Reducing is even better But if we don t stop how things are made, things are still going to deteriorate the earth.I am a huge fan of choosing what I buy based on how things are packaged if it is sustainable This is another one of those books that will change your life for the better if you really take these recommendations to heart example I don t even have a baby, and suddenly I want to use cloth diapers HAHH Highly recommende Amazing book Reusing is splendid Recycling is, recycling.Reducing is even better But if we don t stop how things are made, things are still going to deteriorate the earth.I am a huge fan of choosing what I buy based on how things are packaged if it is sustainable This is another one of those books that will change your life for the better if you really take these recommendations to heart example I don t even have a baby, and suddenly I want to use cloth diapers HAHH Highly recommended for anyone who cares about the planet4.8 5 Cradle to Cradle is a essentially book of questions, and a calling for people to not only re think the way we make things, but to re think the way we perceive ourselves as pitted against the natural world, rather than working with the natural world The age old paradigm of conquering nature and bend or in many cases break it to fit our needs is outmoded,short sighted, and, in fact, harmful not only to humans but the entire natural system The concept of Cradle to Cradle replaces the concept of Cradle to Cradle is a essentially book of questions, and a calling for people to not only re think the way we make things, but to re think the way we perceive ourselves as pitted against the natural world, rather than working with the natural world The age old paradigm of conquering nature and bend or in many cases break it to fit our needs is outmoded,short sighted, and, in fact, harmful not only to humans but the entire natural system The concept of Cradle to Cradle replaces the concept of Cradle to Grave, in which things goods have a entry point and an exit point in the consumption lifecycle A thing is born manufactured , it is consumed, and then thrown away Then a new thing is purchased The idea of cradle to cradle proposes a new model of manufacturing and consumption, one in which products are sold as a product of service , where the manufacturer, in a manner of speaking, leases the product to a customer, the customer uses the product, and at the end of the product s useful life as said product, is returned to the manufacturer, at which time the manufacturer is able to de construct the product, reuse many of the component pieces and materials embodied in the original product to make a new product The de construction of the product months or years later is possible only because the product was designed and engineered that way in the first place, which is the central idea of the book I gave it a 4 star rating because the book is a little short on concrete examples of the new system the authors are proposing Books that make me think, and question conventional wisdom are almost always going to get at least 4 stars with me "/>
  • Paperback
  • 193 pages
  • Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
  • William McDonough
  • English
  • 21 November 2019
  • 0865475873