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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A manifesto for new consumer....
Cradle to Cradle is a manifesto for the new consumer - a mall-nirvana of non toxic products, endlessly `up-cycled' and replaceable; sustainability without the need to change our consuming habits.

Shrugging off alternative strategies as too dour and depressing, the authors put their faith in the belief that we can design our way out of the current predicament...
Published on 16 Mar 2008 by Brendan Dunphy

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ideas, not so well presented
I read the book because I had listened to a lecture by the same name, by McDonough, on iTunesU. It was worth reading the book to refresh the ideas and get a bit more depth, but the lecture was much more entertaining and convincing, and the principles were better conveyed, I thought, than in this book.
I am a convert to Cradle to cradle design, but I wish this book...
Published on 7 Feb 2011 by anglolisa


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A manifesto for new consumer...., 16 Mar 2008
Cradle to Cradle is a manifesto for the new consumer - a mall-nirvana of non toxic products, endlessly `up-cycled' and replaceable; sustainability without the need to change our consuming habits.

Shrugging off alternative strategies as too dour and depressing, the authors put their faith in the belief that we can design our way out of the current predicament of toxic and crude products and create a virtuous circle of product creation, use and "up-cycling" to preserve precious resources and reduce our impact on the planet.

This is an appealing vision and one has to admire the work of co-authors Bill and Michael over many years in developing and testing their theory. But I was left more than a little disappointed as I realised not just the practical limits of their approach but also the philosophy that seemed to underlie their proposition.

This is a manifesto for accelerated consumerism, an evolutionary attempt to overcome the problems we have created through ignorance and myopia. At no point do the authors seem to question the wisdom of consumerism in a shrinking world or its instant appeal and ramifications for a global population of almost 7billion today and maybe 9 billion by 2050.

Maybe I was expecting too much, but even if every product complied with the cradle-to-cradle philosophy we would still be an awfully long way from a sustainable, let alone just world. I can't help but feel that even if the Cradle-to-Cradle philosophy was able to generate the abundance of endlessly re-cycled products it proposes, we will still require a more fundamental appraisal of why we want so much `stuff' we do not need in the first place, regardless of how it is designed and produced.

I am reminded of the Irish farmer's response to the request for directions from a lost tourist, "Well, if I was you, I wouldn't be starting out from here." Making existing product's more eco-friendly and efficient sounds a very worthy goal but maybe the first question we should be asking is, "Do we really need them in the first place?"
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!, 6 Jun 2004
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This is an extraordinary and unlikely book. It is not printed on paper, but on a waterproof polymer with the heft of good paper and more strength, a substance that reflects the right amount of light, yet holds the ink fast. It seems like an impossible fantasy, but so does much of what the authors propose about design and ecology. They speak with the calm certainty of the ecstatic visionary. Could buildings generate oxygen like trees? Could running shoes release nutrients into the earth? It seems like science fiction. Yet, here is this book, on this paper. The authors make a strong case for change, and just when you're about to say, "if only," they cite a corporation that is implementing their ideas. However, it's hard to believe their concepts would work on a large scale, in the face of powerful economic disincentives. We believe authors do aim some of their criticism at obsolete marketing and manufacturing philosophies, but the overall critique is well worth reading.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fancy an educational read in the bath?, 19 Mar 2004
By 
Richard Stowey "Senior Project Manager" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This extreme book is an example of it's own preachings. The book doesnt contain a single ounce of paper. In fact it's made out of a fully recyclable plastic material, and the non-toxic ink can be removed with special non-toxic chemicals. Basically it's the future of a fully recyclable book design. Amazing!
Although quite an intense read, it is quite interesting and at times captivating. Based on an architect and a scientist that teamed up and work on projects to basically help companies become more environmentally friendly.
Examples include the book design, Ford Motor company, and other examples of products that can slowly pollute the environment and possible solutions to these products. Alot of the solutions can be recycled over and over, as the cradle to cradle title suggests.
The book also describes the difference between the Technosphere and Biosphere, and how products from these two different environments interact with each other and the world around us.
Reccomended read, and the book is fully waterproof - Genius!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ideas, not so well presented, 7 Feb 2011
This review is from: Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the Way We Make Things (Paperback)
I read the book because I had listened to a lecture by the same name, by McDonough, on iTunesU. It was worth reading the book to refresh the ideas and get a bit more depth, but the lecture was much more entertaining and convincing, and the principles were better conveyed, I thought, than in this book.
I am a convert to Cradle to cradle design, but I wish this book were a better bible for the philosophy.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A declaration of principles for a future world, 13 May 2004
By 
Daniel Johnston (Aberdeen United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I found out about William McDonough by accident in a magazine article and bought this book on spec out of curiosity. I'm very glad I did. Finally a book with genuine hard and fast ideas of a method to get the sterile, polluted, modern world out of the mess it is in. If we can spread the messages this book imparts, there is a possibility that we can escape the ensuing environmental disaster that even the Pentagon is now predicting. With chemicals affecting every biological organism on Earth in unknowable ways and nature's mechanisms seriously disrupted, someone had to advocate a way forward which can harness the progress of science with the existence of the planet in perpetuity. This is that vision. If you are a business person who thinks that environmentalists are inherently cave dwelling, backward looking bleeding hearts or an environmental activist who thinks that industry and commerce are run by Hitleresque destroyers with no souls, buy this book and get with the program. WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE. Not only that but we have a lot of work to do and dreams to fulfill. I intend to buy a few copies of this book and send it to people who might be able to make a difference and I implore anyone else who understand its value to do the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Circular economy, 21 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the Way We Make Things (Paperback)
I purchased a 2nd hand copy as Circular Economy demands such thinking. The descriptor though suggested it was the original version yet it was the 2008 copy.

I have read it before but thought I should hold a copy for my kids. The original was plastic and was a concept book.

The reprint though was acceptable and is still a great read. The book challenges cradle to grave thinking in that most production is destined for landfill. The book presents ideas that rather than being green, we need to think of all components to be a resource and to consider properties of the materials involved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this!, 11 Nov 2010
This review is from: Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the Way We Make Things (Paperback)
A fantastic book that everyone should/must read! I found this book inspiring, although I had heard the principles and the name of the book mentioned before I had never read it and how foolish I now feel!
Some reviews have argued that is simply an awareness document, but I think that is the point. To make people aware and informed about the issues in the book gets people thinking and able to make better choices in their work and daily lives. I'm not sure what people are expecting, it's certainly unreasonable to expect it to give solutions to all of our problems.
It has really made me stop and think more carefully about the wider implications in my architectural work and I only wish that all contractors and clients would also read it. All the points in the book are valid and once you've read it you can't ignore it! So be warned also!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need help to imagine a sustainable future without giving up all our mod cons?, 28 Aug 2010
By 
Jamie Osborne (Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the Way We Make Things (Paperback)
Word of warning to anyone who already has the last edition - this is not a significant new revision - there are disappointingly few new revelations here.

Having said that, if you haven't read the first edition, then everything in here is still brilliant, and more relevant today than ever.

Like most books in this domain, Cradle to Cradle starts a little alarmist, with a catalogue of woes about many of the bad things in the world today. Don't be put off though because this is definitely a book about solutions, not problems.

McDonough and Braungart propose a sustainable economic and manufacturing model that is sound and easy to understand. A capitalist model that is far more resource efficient and better for the environment, but which still allows for differentiation and innovation of producers.

A model that rewards innovative and waste-conscious suppliers, but which leaves consumers who want to stay ahead of the Joneses plenty of scope to do so.

Most importantly, by helping us consider the real design source of the problems that humanity faces, Cradle to Cradle really proposes a fundamental shift from a perception of humanity as a parasite. It helps us to imagine a world where we live far better than we do today, but within our natural systems.

If you believe (as I do) that humanity is able to transcend our parasitism without devolving to mud huts, then this book is a brilliant place to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, 26 Aug 2010
This review is from: Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the Way We Make Things (Paperback)
Well worth reading. And lending out, again and again.
No point in duplicating the descriptions already provided - This book should is highly recommended for a reason.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There's a good pamphlet struggling to get out of this..., 10 Nov 2009
By 
This review is from: Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the Way We Make Things (Paperback)
The concept of 'cradle-to-cradle' is a good one, but for my taste the book was too full of random anecdotes and ideas that don't seem to be properly thought through. To take one example: bio-degradable packaging that is laced with nitrates? Wouldn't that ruin local ecosystems?

Good last chapter though - this is the bit that would have made a nice leaflet
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Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the Way We Make Things
Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough (Paperback - 29 Jan 2009)
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