Cradle to Cradle Design – How a Biochemist and an Architect Are Changing the World

…  and How it Pertains to You

Cradle to Cradle Design - How a Biochemist and an Architect Are Changing the World - Main image

By Katrin Geist

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Ever heard of the Cradle to Cradle principle? Or of “everything is food”?

Imagine littering as something beneficial, where what you throw out actually fertilizes soil or breaks down completely. Where throwing away things helps instead of damages. Where everything is truly recycled, or better, upcycled and reused. Where buildings double as water cleaning habitats that create their own power to run.

Impossible? Not! Two men joined to achieve just that, inspiring companies, corporations and governments to give their brilliant ideas a try.

Cradle to Cradle Design

Cradle to Cradle design “is a biomimetic approach to the design of products and systems. It models human industry on nature’s processes viewing materials as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms.” [1]

As an introduction, please watch William McDonough’s refreshing, candid, humorous and inspiring TED Talk about Cradle to Cradle Design. Let McDonough and Braungart show you how far reaching their ideas are, and how they get applied, on ever increasingly larger scales  (as seen with the Chinese example).

To me, what they do is the present and the future, and it is ever so inspiring and impressive to see what’s possible. It doesn’t get any more “holistically holistic”! Their vision is all encompassing.

How Can We Jump Onto This?

A first step would be to simply know about Cradle to Cradle (C2C), the  second, to support companies who embrace its philosophy. The references below link to a list of a few companies and products that are C2C certified. I invite you to ask the seller of a given product the simple question if it is based on the Cradle to Cradle principle. And if they don’t know about it, there’s your chance to share the knowledge. I did this the other day in a Dunedin carpet shop. We had a fun conversation. 🙂

How Did McDonough and Braungart Arrive at Their Philosophy?

How Did McDonough and Braungart Arrive at Their Philosophy? By asking high quality questions (“Why me?!” is certainly not one of them!)

How do we love all the children of all species for all time?

How can we secure local society, create world peace, and save the environment?

And also, as their philosophy developed, by phrasing everything in the affirmative, positive.

Silly? Not at all. Try it in your life and watch what happens. You’ll be amazed at how many times a negative thought crosses your mind. When it does, just immediately turn it into its positive equivalent. And with a bit of practice, you turn into a naturally positive person. This actually works.

Why? Because you retrain yourself to thinking differently. Thoughts cause feelings – you’ll end up feeling a lot better in the process, too! Because less negative is only that: less negative, but NOT positive! It can never turn into positive.

Cradle to Cradle Design - How a Biochemist and an Architect Are Changing the World 2

Entertaining positive thoughts to begin with is an excellent habit. That way, it only gets better and better.

How great can it get?

How does it get better than that?

Questions worth asking. 😉

Also, see the last video (below) for a way to exemplify this for others. Bill McDonough does a beautiful job alerting us to the importance of language use in thought, speech, and life. Language does shape feelings and perception. Therefore, using it wisely makes the difference between inspiration and desperation, enthusiasm and boredom.

Which would you rather live?

The Cradle to Cradle goal is “a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy and just world with clean air, water, soil and power – economically, equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed”. And Michael Braungart and William McDonough are taking massive steps toward that.

[cradle to cradle]

An inspiring documentary on the Cradle to Cradle design concept.

Enjoy and share! This is too good to not know about.

Lastly, I cannot resist sharing another presentation by Bill McDonough, held just after the book launch of “The Upcycle” last year.

In it he describes how Cradle to Cradle design is driven by values, not metrics, how to use wind for growing strawberries, why it’s safe to eat your airbus seat in case of disliking airline food, and a new way of viewing products and services, where companies take back their products in order to reuse and recycle their components.  So instead of throwing out your old carpet and turning it into an environmental burden (1.4 billion pounds each year in the US alone), you return it to the manufacturer who produces a brand new carpet from its materials. Basically, a customer provides a convenient, temporary storage facility of future company resources. Same for cell phones, computers, etc.

Imagine! Awesome stuff. And it’s happening. Be a part of it!

“The Upcycle”

A Presentation by William McDonough at the Stanford University Libraries.


The non-paper, Cradle to Cradle designed books…

Some Cradle to Cradle Companies & Products*:

  • Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute – an overview of participating industries with just over 200 products, as well as the C2C certification system, if you would like to register your product.
  • EDAG Light Car ~ A small C2C commuter car, especially great for city traffic. Rent it with your smart phone!
  • Gessner AG ~ Climatex Fabric: C2C material that does not emit harmful chemicals (outgassing) into your home’s living space.

*Products and companies mentioned are not affiliated with Wake Up World or its founders.

Previous articles by Katrin:

About the author:

 Truly Healing From Cancer and Preventing It Altogether

Katrin is a successful Holistic Health Coach & Reconnective Healing Practitioner with postgraduate training and continuing education in the fields of biology, personal transformation, neuroscience, cellular biology and biophysics. She has held international Reconnective Healing clinics in several countries and currently works from her New Zealand office in Dunedin.

Katrin holds a MSc in biology from Berlin University (FU), and a BA with emphasis in ecology from the University of Montana, USA.  Her  science background enables her to communicate scientific subjects in an easily understandable, down to earth way, so that everyone can benefit from information otherwise often confined to technical experts. Katrin frequently offers educational talks on healthy living subjects around New Zealand. To book or invite her for a seminar or lecture, please email her.

A keen interest in personal growth, Eastern philosophy, and life coaching brought her to Dr. Eric Pearl and The Reconnection. With a ‘left-brain’ background in science and education, interacting with the frequencies was startling. Despite no previous experience, it was immediate. It was tangible. It was completely puzzling, yet left its irreversible mark, so much so, that a change in career seemed the natural consequence. After almost a decade in the biological sciences, Katrin now works as Holistic Health Coach and Reconnective Healing Practitioner.â„¢ She feels privileged to serve in this capacity and invites you to experience something different!  Katrin offers The Reconnection and Reconnective Healing, including distance and animal healing.

You can  contact Katrin via  Facebook   •  Email   •  Website   •  or telephone  0064 (0)21 026 95  806 (NZ mobile)

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