This week we discussed the idea of “Cradle to Cradle“. Cradle-to-Cradle suggests that mankind can have a positive, restorative, beneficial impact on the environment through design. William McDonough and Michael Braungart brought the idea of cradle to cradle to the world’s attention in 2002. Unlike the original Industrial Revolution, no sacrifices are necessary. The only thing necessary to achieve the “cradle-to-cradle” goal is smart design.
According to the article, the biological system has nourished our planet for many years, but then came “Industry”. “Industry altered the natural equilibrium of materials on the planet. Humans took substances from the Earth’s crust and concentrated, altered, and synthesized them into vast quantities of material that cannot safely be returned to the soil.”
I definitely had a learning epiphany this week. I quickly realized how many products I use each day that do nothing for the environment. In fact, many products I use are bad for the environment. After class I went on a mission to find businesses that are putting cradle-to-cradle ideas into practice.
I came across a small company known as “Evocative”. This company aims to replace harmful plastics. They envision a future where materials aren’t drilled and pumped and refined. They envision a future where materials are grown. The Evocative team focuses efforts on a commercial launch of Mushroom Packaging, a sustainable alternative to EPS and other plastic foam packaging. This company is turning fungi into packaging materials. The packaging material cost the same as harmful Styrofoam materials, look the same, and after use, the mushroom packaging can be composted. This is an ideal example of the idea that waste=food.
To my surprise there are actually a pretty good number of businesses that are striving to create products that better the Earth. I believe that with the spread of the idea f cradle-to-cradle, even more business will begin to realize that not only can they stop hurting the Earth..they can make it better.
*Mushroom Packaging is pictured below*