CRADLE TO CRADLE: Remaking the Way We Make Things

William McDonough, Author, Michael Braungart, Joint Author . FSG/North Point $25 (208p) ISBN 978-0-86547-587-8

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. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/11/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-3761-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61574-856-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-5761-7
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4299-7384-7
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-09-953547-8
Prebound-Glued - 193 pages - 978-0-613-91987-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-0761-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4356-7979-5
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X
X