Quotes from Cradle to Cradle

by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

Glance at the sun.
See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of eath's greenings.
Now, think.

     Hildegard von Bingen, from the preface


     I was tired of working hard to be less bad. I wanted to be involved in making buildings, even products, with completely positive intentions.
          - p 10

     I directed Greenpeace's chemistry department and helped the organization to protest more knowledgeably, but I soon realized that protest wasn't enough. We needed to develop a process for change.
          - p 11

     We see a world of abundance, not limits. In the midst of a great deal of talk about reducing the human ecological footprint, we offer a different vision. What if humans designed products and systems that celebrate an abundance of human creativity, culture, and productivity? That are so intelligent and safe, our species leaves an ecological footprint to delight in, not lament?
          - p 16

     If the first Industrial Revolution had a motto, we like to joke, it would be "If brute force doesn't work, you're not using enough of it."
          - p 30

     Eco-efficiency is an outwardly admirable, even noble, concept, but it is not a strategy for success over the long term, because it does not reach deep enough. It works within the same system that caused the problem in the first place, merely slowing it down with moral proscriptions and punitive measures. It presents little more than the illusion of change.
          - p 62

     Our concept of eco-effectiveness means working on the right things--on the right products and services and systems--instead of making the wrong things less bad.
          - p 76

     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.
          - p 104

     Negligence is described as doing the same thing over and over even though you know it is dangerous, stupid, or wrong. Now that we know, it's time for a change. Negligence starts tomorrow.
          - p 117

     How can we support and perpetuate the rights of all living things to share in a world of abundance? How can we love the children of all species--not just our own--for all time? Imagine what a world of prosperity and health in the future would look like, and begin designing for it right now.
          - p 186

[note: page numbers from the North Point Press edition first published in 2002]

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 71