On Power

On Territory

On Lifestyle

On Green Consumerism

“People could indulge their hunger for new products as often as they wish, without guilt, and industry could encourage them to do so with impunity, knowing that both sides are supporting the technical metabolism in the process.” Cradle to Cradle 114

While the Cradle to Cradle focuses on the design and production of goods, McDonough and Braungart  suggest that the consumer can have a role in the process.  Here, the role of the consumer is to enjoy "a world of abundance, not one of limits, pollution, and waste." Cradle to Cradle, 90

Their solution is to consume “the right products and services and systems – instead of making the wrong things less bad.” By following the Cradle to Cradle model, one consumes the products without guilt, as they have been designed such that they have little negative impact. The end result is a product that delivers the same performance or service that the consumer expects, without adversely affecting the environment. 

McDonough and Braungart take an opposite stance to the “Buy less, spend less, drive less” philosophy in which “if you are going to help save the planet, you will have to make some sacrifices, share some resources, perhaps even go without.”   They view this type of thinking as “a failure of the imagination” and a “depressing vision of our species’ ” role in the world. Cradle to Cradle, 6-7.

To make products that follow the Cradle to Cradle system readily identifiable to the public, McDonough has created “Cradle to Cradle Certified Products,” with the intention that “consumers can rely on the certification mark to identify and specify sustainable products for their homes, businesses, and buildings." www.mbdc.com

On Reduce Consumption

The environmental message that “consumers” take…can be strident and depressing: stop being so bad, so materialistic, so greedy." Cradle to Cradle, 6

 

McDonough and Braungart stress that a goal of purely reducing consumption misses the point.  McDonough and Braungart write: “The environmental message that “consumers” take…can be strident and depressing: stop being so bad, so materialistic, so greedy.  Do whatever you can, no matter how inconvenient, to limit your “consumption.” Buy less, spend less, drive less, have fewer children – or none... If you are going to help save the planet, you will have to make some sacrifices, share some resources, perhaps even go without.  And fairly soon you must face a world of limits. There is only so much the earth can take.  Sound like fun?  We have worked with both nature and commerce, and we don’t think so.” Cradle to Cradle, 6-7

 

 

On Risk

Background

Cradle to Cradle is a holistic approach to design popularized by William McDonough and Michael Braungart that seeks to produce goods that are both efficient and waste-free.  This is done through by treating all source materials as “nutrients” that can either be recycled without loss of quality, or safely returned to their natural environments.  Though broadly applied as a concept, the term Cradle to Cradle is also offered as a commercial certification for products that meet these stringent sustainability standards. 

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