From the cradle to the cradle: Is it possible to destroy the landfills

From the cradle to the cradle: Is it possible to destroy the landfills

What is this book about? The consumption model “produced – used – threw out” when the product made of valuable materials after a short time is at a landfill, the authors call the linear economy.

According to this principle, most businesses and processes are arranged in society, but natural resources are limited, the population of the Earth is growing, there are more and more waste.

Chemist Michael Brownhart and architect William McDon describe a new model of economics, in which products and business models are arranged differently.

In production, the principles of design of things that will remain in the use cycle are used to benefit people and the environment.

In Russia, ideas for the design of products and systems for the new consumption model are not yet very common (unlike Europe and the USA).

Our country is so far only at the beginning of the journey.

Therefore, the book will be useful to representatives of all spheres, because everyone can change the world for the better in their specialty.

DEEPLA Trends publish the main theses from the book “From the cradle to the cradle.

We change the approach to how we create things.

” Table of contents How did it all begin: or a brief history of the industrial revolution Infinity: there is a limit If gross force does not work, then it is not used enough International style: but for all What is wrong with processing From the cradle to the grave Cherry is not what it seems What to do? 1.

How did it all begin: or a brief history of the industrial revolution The first chapter in the book unfolds a dynamic retrospective of the origin of an industrial society: a railway, steamboats, the growth of cities, the construction of factories, the emergence of cars, the availability of goods, and capital increases.

Great acceleration began to demolish the attitudes of a traditional society, and at the same time natural unity.

“The industrial revolution did not have a plan, but there was a motive.

In fact, it was an economic revolution, moving the desire to grow capital.

Industrialists wanted to produce products as effective as possible and provide the largest number of goods as many people as possible.

In most industries, this meant the transition from handmade to effectively mechanized.

” 2.

Infinity: there is a limit Inspired by the success of industrialism, people felt like the only masters of the planet.

Cars, machine tools, presses, Celestial buildings that can accommodate entire cities – all this gave confidence in the infinity of human forces.

“The early types of industry were based on confidence in the infinity of the reserves of natural“ capital ”.

Ore, forest, water, grain, livestock, coal, land-all this was raw materials for production systems that manufactured mass demand goods, and it remains for them .



nature itself was perceived as a mother earth, constantly reviving, capable of absorbing and flourishing everything farther”.


If gross force does not work, then it is not used enough Fear of the power of nature encourages a person to act in such a way as to subjugate it, “manage it and put it in the service of a person,” wrote the famous English philosopher Francis Bacon.

“A cherry tree is simply not effective for legislators: it is sloppy, fertile, unpredictable.

It cannot be controlled or predicted.

The system is not adapted to cope with something similar.

However, the inhabitants insisted and eventually achieved a special permission to plant a tree.

The forbidden fruit tree is a useful metaphor for the culture of control, for erected and protected barriers – physical or ideological – between nature and producing human activities.

To remove, close, control the imperfect abundance of nature is the hidden features of modern design, which are rarely questioned if they are at all.

” 4.

International style: but for all The growth of cities in the industrial era gave impetus to the construction of high -rise buildings.

No one then even thought about in which place, from what materials to construct them, how to maintain air circulation, cool in the summer and maintain heat in winter in such a way as to spend less resources.

The main task was to eliminate the demographic problem.

“Today, the international style has turned into something less ambitious: faceless, identical buildings, isolated from local features: local culture, nature, energy and material flows.

Such buildings are not reflected – if at all reflected – local features or style.

Often they arise as sticking fingers in the surrounding landscape if it remained untouched around the asphalt and concrete “office of the park”.

The interiors also do not inspire.

Hardy windows, constantly buzzing air conditioners, heating systems, lack of daylight and fresh air, standard fluorescent lighting – this could be designed for home equipment, not for people.

” A great example is the new Nordhavn area in Copenhagen, the policy of which is aimed at sustainable development.

Solar panels have long appeared on the roofs of houses, materials from processing are used, thanks to which air conditioners are not required in the summer.


What is wrong with processing Many mistakenly consider the processing of a panacea.

But plastic or paper cannot be processed an infinite number of times simply because with each cycle their quality worsens noticeably.

“The processing of the material automatically does not make it environmentally friendly, especially if it is not specifically intended for processing.

The blind adoption of superficial environmental approaches without a complete understanding of their effects may not be better – and perhaps worse – nothing .



Processing is an aspirin that mitigates the consequences of a fairly powerful collective hangover .



caused by super -consumption.

” Nature cannot process all waste, no matter how we want it.

The environment is able to decompose only what was originally created to it.

For you need to distinguish between the biosphere with the technosphere.

The first is capable of using nature, the second is man.

If you try to mix these two spheres, you will get a hybrid that will be pointlessly lying on a landfill for hundreds of years.

“Air, water and soil cannot safely absorb our waste if these waste themselves are not completely safe and biodegradable.

Despite the existing incorrect performances, even aquatic ecosystems are not able to clean and distill unsafe waste to a safe level.

We know too little about industrial pollutant agents and their effects on natural systems so that “slowing down” is a safe long -term strategy.

The detection of markets for re-use of waste can give industry and consumers the feeling that something good is done for the environment, since heaps of garbage, as it seems, “disappear”.


From the cradle to the grave Reporting is one of the first positions in the list of global problems of mankind.

But each of us does not consume so much, right? The difficulty lies in the fact that with the right product we get meaningless many additional items (plastic, fillers, packaging, disposable things).

All this is originally intended to be in a landfill.

The scheme “from the cradle to the grave” prevails in modern production.

Few people are now engaged in upcoming: it is most often cheaper to buy a new thing than to fix it.

“In fact, many products are designed with“ built -in obsolescence ”in order to exist only for a certain time, allowing the consumer – pushing it – to get rid of the purchased thing and acquire a new model .



” And in this matter, the authors of the book urge to change the role model to a highly effective natural system “from the cradle to the cradle.

” “To exclude the concept of waste is to construct a design of things – products, packaging and systems,” from the very beginning, realizing that there is no waste.

This means that valuable nutrients contained in the materials determine the design: the form follows evolution, and not just functions.

We think that this is a healthier prospect than the modern way of the production of things.

” Cars, TVs, carpets, computers and refrigerators, can be rethought as services that people want to use.

According to this scenario, customers (this is a more suitable term for users of such products) will buy services for a certain user period – say, ten thousand hours of television viewing, and not the TV itself.

They will not pay for the totality of materials that will not be able to use after the current life of the product.

When they finish using the product or simply decide to go to a more modern version, the manufacturer will replace it, taking the old model, will analyze and use its complex materials as “food” for new products.

Clients will receive the necessary services until they need them, and will be able to improve their quality as often as they wish; The manufacturer will continue to grow and develop, while leaving the materials at his disposal.


Cherry is not what it seems Incredibly beautiful image-ideal in the book is a cherry tree.

The authors urge us to borrow the principles of its interaction with the environment into our way of life and politics.

“Cherry blooms and fruit abundantly, without depleting the environment.

Having fallen to the Earth, its materials decompose and decay into nutrients that feed microorganisms, insects, plants, animals and soil.

Although the tree produces more “product” than it is necessary for its success in the ecosystem, this abundance has evolved to serve as many diverse goals.

In fact, the fertility of cherries nourishes, one might say, everything around him.

What would the human world look like if it were created by a cherry tree? .



Around the world, animals and people exhale carbon dioxide that consumes plants for their own growth.

Waste nitrogen is converted into protein for microorganisms, animals and plants.

Horses eat grass and produce manure in which flies larvae live and feed on.

The most important nutrients on Earth – carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen – are circulated and returned.

Waste is food.

This cyclic biological system “from the cradle to the cradle” fought a planet filled with a flowering, diverse abundance for millions of years.

Until recently, in the history of the Earth it was the only system, and every living creature on the planet belonged to it.

” 8.

What to do? At the beginning of the book, the authors offer a checklist of industrialization, which includes points: produce hazardous substances, create a bunch of waste, poison air, destroy ecosystems.

Everything does not look very rosy.

Therefore, the authors are recovering a new environmentally friendly system of views for people who helped them in industry: buildings that, like trees, produce more energy than they consume and purify their own wastewater; factories that produce flows of drinking water; Products that, when the term of their use has expired, do not become useless waste, but, thrown into the ground, overwhelm and turn into food for plants and animals and nutrients for the soil or return to industrial cycles to be high -quality raw materials for new products; billions, even trillions of dollars annually accumulated for the sake of man and nature; transportation that improve the quality of life, delivering goods and services; The world of abundance, not restrictions, pollution and waste.

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  • DEEPLA Staff thanks you a lot for reading us. About our project…

    In DEEPLA we talk about Green Trends that are changing our lives.
    The Green Economy project is based on the need to protect national interests while strengthening global technological trends. Why we talk about GreenEconomy? Because human activity causes irreparable damage to the environment. Until recently, people lived according to the principle "after us, even a flood." Fortunately, today the trend is changing. The development of a green economy is a direct proof of this. And in DEEPLA we are committed.

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