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Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things Paperback – April 22, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 608 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Paper or plastic? Neither, say William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Why settle for the least harmful alternative when we could have something that is better--say, edible grocery bags! In Cradle to Cradle, the authors present a manifesto calling for a new industrial revolution, one that would render both traditional manufacturing and traditional environmentalism obsolete. Recycling, for instance, is actually "downcycling," creating hybrids of biological and technical "nutrients" which are then unrecoverable and unusable. The authors, an architect and a chemist, want to eliminate the concept of waste altogether, while preserving commerce and allowing for human nature. They offer several compelling examples of corporations that are not just doing less harm--they're actually doing some good for the environment and their neighborhoods, and making more money in the process. Cradle to Cradle is a refreshing change from the intractable environmental conflicts that dominate headlines. It's a handbook for 21st-century innovation and should be required reading for business hotshots and environmental activists. --Therese Littleton

From Publishers Weekly

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 owners and obviate the need for regulatory apparatus. These shimmery visions can sound too good to be true, and the book is sometimes frustratingly short on specifics, particularly when it comes to questions of public policy and the political interests that might oppose widespread implementation of these designs. Still, the authors' original concepts are an inspiring reminder that humans are capable of much more elegant environmental solutions than the ones we've settled for in the last half-century.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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608 customer ratings
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Top international reviews

Looking for solid, functional with no unnecessary bells and whistles
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the ideal, but thin on substance and slow to start
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 28, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book every designer should read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2018
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Georgy H
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must read' for designers and decision makers
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 14, 2010
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Eve
4.0 out of 5 stars Very in depth look at crade to crade idea and sustainable planet
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 5, 2018
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Mr. C
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read. Design students read this!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2016
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Alok
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best reads
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 3, 2018
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james
4.0 out of 5 stars Circular economy
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 20, 2013
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oz
4.0 out of 5 stars the quality of the paper is so good, i cry every time i turn a page
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2014
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3.0 out of 5 stars interating but the print on the book is poor. (as mentioned in the book) so does make ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 16, 2018
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"cmalan6"
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
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Manuel Löffler
3.0 out of 5 stars Green Chemistry and sustainable outlook - easy readers guide
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2013
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 19, 2015
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Dawn Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Arrived on time and the packaging was good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 26, 2014
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Kaiyi Gu
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview of virtuous cycle living
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2012
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PENG
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 21, 2020
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