Cradle to cradle start with the fact that people are consumers, and we buy a lot of commercial products. Together with the fact that we are with so many people on this planet, this means massive production. And to produce all of this, we also need a lot of resources.
That’s where the problems occur. The first problem is the problem of resource scarcity. We have been producing without thinking about reusing so the scarcity is a problem which will hit us very soon. Another problem is waste. Most of the companies nowadays work with a take, make, waste system, this means that products are being thrown away, even when they have been so carefully designed.
So the need has arrived to react to these problems. They catched the eye of both consumers and companies. A first strategy on how to react is to minimize. So use fewer materials, less energy and more energy efficient technologies. But this only postpones the moment when energy resources will be exhausted. And although we would be using less resources, because population is growing so rapidly, production will also keep growing. So the current approach to minimize, also known as the reuse, reduce and recycle method will not safe the world.
Another strategy is Cradle to Cradle, rethink the way we make things and start using materials more effectively. This strategy isn’t better, it’s the best. It starts from reducing the consumption of materials, stimulate recycling and minimize the amount of energy used in a product lifecycle. It also stimulates keeping materials in continuous cycles, use of renewable energy only and celebrate the diversity of nature.
But this method requires a different approach in design. Nowadays, products are designed to meet customer needs and with Cradle to Cradle, design needs to think about how to assemble the product, how to use materials which are valuable to nature and how to use resources that can be used for making new products. So every part of the product has to be designed with the intention of bringing the product back in the technical of biological cycle.
So with Cradle to Cradle, we don’t longer use products, we borrow them. So waste no longer exists. The two most important aspects of Cradle to Cradle is stimulate the use of renewable energy only, so we can have an endless energy supply. And secondly we need to celebrate diversity with nature as the best example. And in the end, everyone, even our grandchildren will be able to enjoy the same or a better quality of life.