“Cradle to cradle” reviewPosted: April 28, 2015
From what I learnt and understood of Sustainable and Eco design from “Agents of change”(Field project), This book has just taken it to the next level. I was interested when first hearing the term Sustainability, now I find myself fasciated by the everything associated with it.
Michael Braungart was one of the founders of Germany’s Green party and McDonough is a leading figure in the sustainable design movement, and the chief administrator of official “cradle to cradle” product certification. Cradle to cradle(C2C) design a great idea, but the track record of practical C2C execution by McDonough has criticism from within the sustainable design community.
The basis of Cradle to Cradle is “eco-effectiveness” rather than “eco-efficiency”. Eco-efficiency, or what is mostly practiced today, is doing more with less. The whole problem with manufacturing today, according to the authors, is that we use all of these horrible chemicals and produce toxic waste that harms the environment and us. The guiding principle here too, in a way, is against “efficiency”, if that is understood as doing the same old thing but polluting less while you do it. Braungart explains briefly in his new introduction: “When you do something wrong, don’t try to improve upon it.” An example “I was recently shown a new photocopying machine made with far better components, and which ran twice as fast on less energy consumption, but the paper still could not be composted. It could not go back into any biological cycle. Yes, it is ‘less bad’ but the optimisations are in the wrong place.” The principle focus of this book is on how to gain a deep understanding of action and incorporate that knowledge into practical everyday design.