Tag Archives: Michael Braungart

Cradle to Cradle Goes Beyond Sustainability in New Book, The Upcycle

"Good design would allow for abundance, endless use and pleasure." - The Upcycle

When William McDonough and Michael Braungart first thought up their “waste equals food” vision, there were doubts on  how far this idea would go. Now, ten years after putting the Cradle to Cradle concept into practice, William McDonough and Michael Braungart have envisioned the next step In the solution to our ecological crisis.

In the duo’s new book, The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance the idea for the future is that we don’t just use or reuse resources with greater effectiveness, but we actually improve the world as we live, create and build.

For them, the questions of resource scarcity and sustainability are revolved around design. They see the Cradle to Cradle ideas being put to use in designs of products, buildings and business practices  Factories are being re-imagined not just to sustain life on the planet but to grow it.

In The Upcycle (and in general), McDonough and Braungart’s mission is to flip our very understanding of the human role on earth: Instead of protecting the planet from human impact, why not redesign our activity to improve the planet? We can have a beneficial footprint and abundance for all.

Since the beginning of Cradle to Cradle, Shaw Industries has adopted those ideas and incorporated them into how we make our products. Shaw Industries is mentioned in The Upcycle as a pioneer in the early integration of Cradle to Cradle ideas, alongside other large, international companies like Herman Miller, Steelcase and Ford.

Like us on Facebook and share on our wall how you make everyday Earth Day for a chance to win a copy of The Upcycle by William McDonough and Micheal Braungart.

Image: Amazon.com

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Look to Nature to Solve our Design Challenges

Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart

Janine Benyus

How does a river filter fresh water? How does a spider manufacture resilient fiber? These are the questions that biologist Janine Benyus are asking, along with architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, to make products safer and more environmentally friendly. The fact is that nature has already given them a head start.

Viewing nature as a source of ideas, rather than merely a source of goods, goes way back in history among indigenous people; however, Western industrial culture has mostly dismissed the idea to academic research.  Thanks to work of Benyus, Braungart, and McDonough, such ideas are starting to become a reality. From oil-repellent coating inspired by water bugs, to using prairies as
 a model to grow food sustainably,
 to observing how chimps cope with illness, the possibilities of learning from our planet’s unexplored sources of intelligence are endless.

Read more about the work of McDonough, Braungart and Benyus in making the world a more sustainable place in this article in Christian Science Monitor.

Images: CNN, GreenatWork

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