Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Comparing Cradle-to-Grave and Cradle-to-Cradle by Jade

Cradle-to-grave is the investigation of the environmental impacts of a product. This has been overlooked in the past but now that many products have been designed, manufactured, used and thrown away they are simply turning into waste. Which is not good as there may be some dangerous materials or chemicals in the products thrown away, leaving negative effects on our environment and other species.

A german chemist Michael Braungart recently stated that in nature everything that is waste is good. If it is animals waste, food that animals drop, leaves or flowers falling and dissolving into the ground. His simple statement was that, WASTE = FOOD.

And with this it raises the idea, if our waste was not harmful but biodegradable maybe instead of constantly destroying our environment perhaps this would help to sustain it. 

Michael is also inspiring companies around the world to look at better, more organic ways of manufacturing products. Which of corse has not always been what companies most care about, but now companies are looking at new ways for many reasons, some being to keep their customers happy, some materials may actually be cheaper, also to help sustain a resource and money can be made if they can mass manufacture something with little resources lost or any environmental impacts. 

This is different to an even new idea, Cradle to Cradle. Meaning as the name suggests returning a products to its original form with equal value. This differentiates from the idea of Recycling. An example of recycling is Nike taking back all used shoes and breaking them down to re use some of the rubber out of their shoes to make such things like; tennis courts. Not all of the shoes were reusable and the value of the rubber was lost. Cradle to cradle is talking about designing products that are easy to dissemble to completely reuse it and make a new products as good as it originally was. This is the first time companies have been so interested in such techniques, but there  is allot of waste that could be saved if it is successful.

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