The Designers Accord Sustainability in 7 video series delivers a daily dose of design inspiration by today's leading sustainability experts. Join in the conversation as they share 7 things every designer should consider when integrating sustainability into design practice.
William McDonough needs no introduction for anyone with an interest in environmental design: he's been exploring sustainability through architectural practice for some twenty years now, and his insights are more relevant than ever. In this edition of Sustainability in 7, William McDonough discusses the notion of "Cradle to Cradle," covering everything from reversing entropy to butterfly hatcheries.
About William McDonough
William McDonough is the founding principal of William McDonough + Partners, a design firm practicing ecologically, socially, and economically intelligent architecture and planning in the U.S. and abroad. McDonough has won three United States presidential awards: the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development (1996), the National Design Award (2004); and the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2003). He and German chemist Michael Braungart wrote Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things and founded MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry), a consulting firm.
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Instead of being printed on paper, Cradle to Cradle is printed on a heavy synthetic material that is (according to the book's own claims) recyclable. In the real world, however, it is NOT recyclable, because there is no labeling to indicate the natural of the materials. Note to Mr. McDonough -- traditional wood pulp-based paper IS recyclable.
Another deficiency is that the book is very heavy, adding to the fuel that had to be burned to transport it. It probably weighed at least 50% more than a traditional paperback of the same size.
Third, and possibly most important, re-use is preferable to recycling, and is probably the fate of most good books..... But never mind, I withdraw this last criticism. Had I purchased Cradle to Cradle, I would have done my best to recycle it.
I'd also like to see some of the examples of where values and principles have changed post C2C process.