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[GreenYes] THE book on remaking things.
Members of the list may find this new book adds to our discussions about
recycling, reusing, and reducing. There's a new R to think about --
remaking. This will make the recycler's work much easier in the future.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and
Michael Braungart

Some details:

A manifesto for a radically different philosophy and practice of manufacture
and environmentalism.

Reduce, reuse, recycle," urge environmentalists; in other words, do more
with less in order to minimize damage. As William McDonough and Michael
Braungart argue in their provocative, visionary book, however, this approach
perpetuates a one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model that dates to
the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the
materials it uses as waste, much of
it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably
damage the natural world, they ask.

In fact, why not take nature itself as our model? A tree produces thousands
of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we do not consider its
abundance wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective; hence, "waste
equals food" is the first principle the book sets forth. Products might be
designed so that, after their useful life, they provide nourishment for
something new -- either as "biological nutrients" that safely reenter the
environment or as "technical nutrients" that circulate within closed-loop
industrial cycles, without being
"downcycled" into low-grade uses (as most "recyclables" now are).

Elaborating their principles from experience, (re)designing everything from
carpeting to corporate campuses, the authors make an exciting and viable
case for change.

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.

                     About the Authors
William McDonough, an architect and industrial designer, and Michael
Braungart, a chemist, are partners in McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry,
which creates ecologically intelligent designs for corporate clients around
the world.

Michael Jessen
toenail environmental services
5635 Highway 3A
Nelson, BC V1L 6N7 Canada
Office Phone: 250/229-4621
Home Phone: 250/229-5632
Fax: 775/587-9838

If you're not in favour of zero waste, how much waste are you in favour of?

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