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Extended Audio Sample Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by William McDonough, Michael Braungart Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William McDonough, Michael Braungart Narrator: Stephen Hoy Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“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 re-enter 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 redesigning everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, the authors make an exciting and viable case for change.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A readable provocative treatise that ‘gets outside the box’ in a huge way. Timely and inspiring.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Enlightened and enlightening…A must for every…concerned citizen.”

    Hazel Henderson, author of Beyond Globalization: Shaping a Sustainable Global Economy

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jellymeli | 4/19/2011

    " This is a must-read for Industrial Designers who aim to be part of a new world of creation in equilibrium with nature, industry, society and economics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kate | 2/22/2011

    " The concept is great. The writing is pompous and self-aggrandizing. The combination is a book that sparks a strong reaction and makes for great talking points, though it can be extremely annoying at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kathy | 12/10/2010

    " The ideas presented push us in a new direction that now seems essential. I wish they had been presented in a more compelling manner. I think they needed to focus more on the stories around the ideas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mary | 12/9/2010

    " a course in sustainability 101- the book itself is not made of paper! A must read for anyone planning on living beyond 2010 "

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About the Author

William McDonough is an architect and the founding principal of William McDonough & Partners, Architecture and Community Design, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. From 1994 to 1999, he served as dean of the school of architecture at the University of Virginia. In 1999 Time magazine recognized him as a Hero for the Planet, stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world.” In 1996, he received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the highest environmental honor given by the United States.