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Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

A book about sustainability by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

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A green book for the Eco savvy

  • Mar 3, 2009
Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough & Michael Braungart is a very thought provoking book that is great for anyone in a design profession. It will make you aware of the impact of anything you design on people and the environment, everything from cars to carpet is covered. I also recommend it to anyone interested in sustainability and 'green' issues. I read this my junior year in college and it was so interesting I actually read the book for all assignments.

The difference between this book and many others on sustainability and 'green' living is that it addresses the issue of many green practices being insufficient to make any positive impact on the environment. Recycling for example is just the act of trying to reduce our impact on the environment, but by no means is it good for the environment. Why not design an economy and industry where there is no waste, now that is a challenge!

I love that this book doesn't just talk the talk! It is made of 'treeless paper' from plastic resins and inorganic fillers, so it can be recycled along with polypropylene much like your yogurt pots. It is waterproof, very practical, and at the end of its life can be made into another book, hence demonstrating that it is possible to recycle without loosing material quality. You will not accidentally ruin this book reading in the bathtub or poolside!
Cradle to Cradle

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April 29, 2010
This is a very inspiring book. In about 10 years of searching, it came the closest to what I was looking for--a system that recycles everything we make--but unfortunately, it didn't quite map it out. I began work on designing such a system as part of my masters degree in engineering and technology management. I designed a system that eliminates the extractor (mining, logging, etc.) and the landfills and circulates the materials we use to make things within a closed system. I also outlined the challenges we're going to face to make a system like this work. The biggest challenge is in materials--they have to be engineered to be recyclable. Please check out my website, it explains the whole thing in more detail-- www.rebk.org. Also, my book, Recycle Everything--Why We Must, How We Can, is on Amazon. I am working toward the creation of an institute that will tackle the challenges and help industries transform themselves to sustainable systems. This is huge, and we can use all the support we can get.
May 01, 2010
Thanks so much for reading the review and the comment! That is a lofty goal, but I love when people start thinking that way :) Why not design so that there is no waste... they weren't thinking of that during the Industrial Revolution, were they? ;) Now we've filled up the land fills! Glad to see you're part of the solution!
December 07, 2009
Yes! like Yoda sez; "there is no 'Try'!" Cradle to Cradle is one of my most happy books (and you can read it in the bath and, as the co-authors point out, recycle it with the yogurt pots!!)
December 07, 2009
Thanks for the comment! Yes, I love the material it is made of, wish more books were made like that.
March 03, 2009
I'm always in support of anything that's "green"! Is this book moreso an informational book, or is it instructional and tells you have to do or build things?
December 07, 2009
What?! You asked me this question in March, and here I am answering it in December! It is an informational book, but it does offer some practical advice as well (things like non-toxic alternatives to toxic things). It is meant more for deep thought and reflection on how to make products that are not disposable and finite.
More Cradle to Cradle: remaking the... reviews
review by . June 12, 2010
Cradle to Cradle is a must read for all Americans, or anyone who consumes.  It paints a picture of our daily lives and the actual impact it has on the world around us.  Many of the specifics that the authors point out are obvious, but also the implications of our simple daily living that can lead to long-term complications.       This book is very thought provoking in ways that don't immediately come to mind when we think about conservation, preservation and …
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Great intro to industrial ecology and cradle-to-cradle thinking.
Quick Tip by . June 18, 2010
Take this book along with you as you go shopping to see how wasteful we still are despite desperate efforts to "go green."
About the reviewer
Anastasia B ()
Ranked #22
I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a Christ follower, an Interior Designer, a blog author, a cook, an artist, an eco-conscious consumer, a nature lover, … more
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Cradle to Cradle is a book by William McDonough & Michael Braungart about the impact of design on the environment.

Publishers weekly summary: Environmentalists are normally the last people to be called shortsighted, yet that's essentially what architect McDonough and chemist Braungart contend in this clarion call for a new kind of ecological consciousness. The authors are partners in an industrial design firm that devises environmentally sound buildings, equipment and products. They argue that conventional, expensive eco-efficiency measures things like recycling or emissions reduction are inadequate for protecting the long-term health of the planet. Our industrial products are simply not designed with environmental safety in mind; there's no way to reclaim the natural resources they use or fully prevent ecosystem damage, and mitigating the damage is at best a stop-gap measure. What the authors propose in this clear, accessible manifesto is a new approach they've dubbed "eco-effectiveness": designing from the ground up for both eco-safety and cost efficiency. They cite examples from their own work, like rooftops covered with soil and plants that serve as natural insulation; nontoxic dyes and fabrics; their current overhaul of Ford's legendary River Rouge factory; and the book itself, which will be printed on a synthetic "paper" that doesn't use trees. Because profitability is a requirement of the designs, the thinking goes, they appeal to business ...
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ISBN-10: 0865475873 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780865475878 (pbk.)
Author: William McDonough, Michael Braungart
Genre: Environmental Non-fiction
Publisher: North Point Press
Date Published: April 22, 2002
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