A Book Not Made of Paper : Cradle to Cradle

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A book not made of paper : Cradle to Cradle

(In order to explain how this book is an ideal and sustainable product, and not simply an educational device, I first must explain the educatory content of the book as it will reveal a new form of thought about sustainable design; the type of design thinking that went into creating a book not made of paper.)

William McDonough and Michael Braungart, authors of “Cradle to Cradle,” are Remaking the Way We Make Things. Their book is more than a handbook for future architects, engineers, and designer, it is a bible of revolutionary thinking on life. While designers should sleep with this book by their side, this book is for everyone who lives and loves their planet. The book is provocative, in that it brings awareness to a dangerous and limited world we have created. Though seemingly building fear as it reveals problems, “Cradle to Cradle” also delivers hope because it has solutions; a new way of thinking. McDonough and Braungart ask us to challenge the idea that industry must destroy, pollute, and contaminate Our Ecosystems, Our Environments, Our World and to rethink the industry as something that has limitless resources, contributes to the natural and technological environments, and delivers healthy and beautiful products to our children. We have all heard about “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” and does it sound like a beautiful solution to all our problems. The 3R’s are not a solution, but a slow process of downcyling of raw materials, whether they are biological (from the natural world; biodegradable) or technical (pure, raw materials such as metals and plastics; upcyclable) nutrients, to a point in which they are rendered useless; most likely ending up in a landfill to decay ‘till eternity. The authors prefer to use the word upcycled, rather than recycled, because most products today are not conceived in a way where they can be safely recycled. For example, a soda can will never become a soda can again. If it is...
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