Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cradle to Cradle - Paper or Plantain?

The term “Cradle to Cradle” was first conceived in the 1970’s by Walter R. Stahel. Authors McDonough and Braungart took this concept a step further in their book, “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things,” suggesting that we can learn a thing or two from nature’s example. The notion of taking recycling to the next level by promoting a completely sustainable product just might be the solution for the future.

While we may try to lessen our impact on the environment by choosing paper instead of plastic or selecting an alternate source of power, there is ultimately a price to pay in terms of end result. Eventually, refuse must be disposed of and ends up in our landfills or oceans. In nature, sustainability is ever present. Everything works together and is useful. Trees bear fruit and while some of this fruit will produce more trees, a large quantity will drop to the ground and rot. This fruit is not waste. It will provide nutrients to the earth to promote the growth of new trees.

Glass is one container that is 100% recyclable and reusable from cradle to cradle. It can be reused over and over again for food and beverages. Think how many plastic milk jugs are produced and end up as garbage, while a glass container could be returned to your local supermarket shelf in as little as four weeks time. In addition, recycling a single glass bottle can save enough energy to power a 60 watt light bulb for four hours or a computer for thirty minutes.

In the interest of the environment, we might choose a paper plate instead of a plastic one. But maybe we can take it one step further and make it a cradle to cradle, sustainable plate!

by Debra Mosso

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