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5.1 Cradle to Cradle

Products and processes have historically been designed for cradle to grave. That is, design has only considered the product from the point of manufacture to disposal. With growing awareness of environmental impacts and companies’ tendency to externalize costs, there has been a shift in thinking about design in terms of cradle to cradleA way of thinking about manufacturing design from the acquisition of raw materials to the point of recycle and reuse, with a goal of zero waste., or from the point of acquisition of raw materials to the point of recycle and reuse.McDonough and Braungart (2002). Cradle to cradle design requires a shift in thinking about traditional manufacturing, recycling, and environmentalism. Cradle to cradle design encourages us not to choose the least environmentally damaging approach but rather to create and design a better approach. Cradle to cradle design encourages the integration of nature into the design process with a goal of zero waste. Products and processes integrating this design philosophy can receive Cradle to Cradle certification.McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC (2008).