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The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability--Designing for Abundance Paperback – April 16, 2013
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“Asking how a cherry tree would design an energy-efficient building is only one of the creative ‘practices' that McDonough and Braungart spread before their readers. This book will give you renewed hope that, indeed, ‘it is darkest before the dawn.'” ―Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club on Cradle to Cradle
“[McDonough and Braungart are] masters of holistic environmentalism . . . [They] have a knack for combining big ideas with commonsense practicality, which leaves readers feeling excited about the future.” ―Bruce Barcott, Outside Magazine on Cradle to Cradle
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Top Customer Reviews
In 1992 BMMB publicly presented the "Hannover Principles", a sustainability manifesto which advocates transcending basic design principles by also considering the impact on health and the environment, how the design impacts things on the periphery and identifying those relationships, eliminating waste and optimizing efficiency, and striving to holistically improve the end product. Together they identified and analyzed thousands of industrial materials and produced a ranking system that delineated their qualities along the lines of toxicity and true recyclable sustainability (as opposed to "downcycling", or reusing the materials of a primary product to produce something else with less and less quality/utility in the future). This work led to a major series of high level consultations producing a "butterfly effect" that is positively impacting us all, and will continue to do so ad infinium.
Ten years later they wrote "Cradle to Cradle", which looked at how products could be made better by applying the Hannover Principles, and that doing so would make companies more profitable.Read more ›
William McDonough, an American architect, and Michael Braungart, a German chemist, combined to write Cradle to Cradle (C2C). C2C, published in 2002, discusses product design, with emphasis on materials utilization efficiency in an environmental context. C2C proposes that product design consider negative effects, especially toxicity, to humans and the natural world at every step in the product's value chain, including disposition when the product is no longer useful. In essence, C2C goes beyond "cradle to grave" design, which ends at a landfill or an incinerator, to "cradle to cradle" design, where non-toxic materials are reclaimed, recycled or reused in generation after generation of products.
Recently, the same two authors published The Upcycle. The Upcycle isn't really a sequel to C2C. Rather, as its title implies, it is an expansion on C2C, based on experience -- in this case, two decades of experience. Think of The Upcycle as another generation of the same product, rather like release 1.0 and release 2.0 of a software package.
Here are a few of the key ideas from The Upcycle:
>> More good, rather than less bad: The general approach to environmental impacts and human well-being is to do less bad -- reduce atmospheric emissions, reduce industrial accidents and reduce waste to landfill, for example. The Upcycle asserts that reduction, even reduction to zero, isn't sufficient. Production should aim beyond shrinking its negative footprint on the world to producing an increasing positive footprint.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a fascinating and inspiring book to rethink the way we want to sustainably live into the future. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Benjamin J. Weinstein
Should be required reading for all in business/manufacturing.Published 5 months ago by Steven Bergstrom
A truly classic book
full of revolutionary insights
worthy of being a textbook in some manner. Read more
I enjoyed this book very much! This book helped broaden my perspective on sustainability and helped me look at things in a way I have never thought of before. Read morePublished 9 months ago
As with Cradle to Cradle, this book brings a radically new and valuable perspective to a saturated field.Published 12 months ago by John Hardman
The main idea of The Upcycle is that the idea of lowering one's carbon footprint is too negative. Instead humanity needs to seek out sustainable abundance through intelligent and... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jerold Gafford