Wasting Away

Recycling as we know it is stupid, or so say architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (North Point Press; 208 pages). The environmentalist mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle is based on the singularly flawed idea, according to the authors, that all things must pass into waste. Even if you turn that pop bottle into a fleece jacketóby applying brute force and chemical processingóthat seemingly useful incarnation is just an additional step between raw material and landfill. "If humans are truly going to prosper, we will have to learn...

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