Author(s): Michael Braungart
'Reduce, reuse, and recycle' urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. But as architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart point out in this provocative, visionary book, this approach only perpetuates the one-way, 'cradle to grave' manufacturing model, dating to the Industrial Revolution, that creates such fantastic amounts of waste and pollution in the first place. Why not challenge the belief that human industry must damage the natural world? In fact, why not take nature itself as our model for making things? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we consider its abundance not wasteful but safe, beautiful and highly effective.Waste equals food. Guided by this principle, McDonough and Braungart explain how products can be designed from the outset so that, after their useful lives, they will provide nourishment for something new - continually circulating as pure and viable materials within a 'cradle to cradle' model. Drawing on their experience in redesigning everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, McDonough and Braungart make an exciting and viable case for putting eco-effectiveness into practice, and show how anyone involved in making anything can begin to do so as well.
A groundbreaking, passionately-argued and visionary call to arms
Michael Braungart is a chemist and founder of the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) in Hamburg. He has been lecturing at universities, businesses and institutions around the world since 1984 on critical new concepts for ecological chemistry, and is the recipient of numerous awards, honours and fellowships. William McDonough is an architect and founding principal of William McDonough + Parners based in Virginia. In 1999, Time magazine recognised him as a 'Hero for our Planet', and in 1996 he received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the highest environmental honour given by the United States.