Cradle to Cradle
It takes energy and resources to recycle things. They are often transformed into lower value commodities, or eventually end up in landfill anyway. And many current complex electronic or mechanical products are too costly or difficult to recycle at all. Chemist Michael Braungart and architect William Mcdonough re-imagined recycling in their revolutionary book: Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. The idea is that every product should be constructed in such a way that ‘biological’ materials that can be safely composted can be easily separated from each of the individual types of ‘technical’ or synthetic materials like metals and plastics. The biological materials can then be easily and safely disposed of, while the technical materials are all reclaimed back into the production cycle. Much of the Herman Miller range (right) of furniture stocked by matisse.co.nz has been certified using this approach, and more and more companies are jumping on board to create more positive products.