January 4, 2008

Less is not always less

Rereading the 2002 sustainability bible Cradle to Cradle, I'm inspired again by the authors' compelling message that industry can be a positive thing for the environment as well as for the humans involved. In a world that takes for granted the existence of "garbage," this quote jumped out:

To eliminate the concept of waste means to design things--products, packaging, and systems--from the very beginning on the understanding that waste does not exist.

This is compounded by the statistic given earlier in the book, that "the product itself contains on average only 5 percent of the raw materials involved in the process of making and delivering it." So the difference between reuse and recycling is 95 percent of the materials...

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