Cradle to Cradle
by victoriasalomon on November 3, 2017 - 7:36pm
Victoria, Katelyn, Melodie and Ariane
Cradle to Cradle
Yesterday, we have a guest speaker by the name of David Cote, a co-founder of many sustainable and innovative food products. He spoke of production loops and how it was the best way to make your products. His product, Loop Juice, was made entirely of organic and vegan substances that were very good for you. It was named like this because every single aspect of the product, from the bottle that it's sold in to the ink on the sticker, will not be wasted. It will be either composted, recycled, or reused in another way. An example would be that the by-product of making juice is that you get a lot of left-over pulp. To dispose of the pulp, David's company sells it at a low price to another company that makes dog biscuits. Zero waste.
Our current linear economic system is not something that will be able to last us much longer. This is created by our production procedure. The idea that we extract important non-renewable resources from the earth, and by the end of the process we've disposed of them in unsafe ways, such as landfills and incinerators, is both damaging to the planet and to humanity. Instead of relying on a step-by-step, straight line that ultimately leads in the damaging of our planet, we need to implement a sustainable system that can keep functioning in a loop, so that there is no final disposal stage. The idea behind this is the 'Cradle-to-Cradle' system, much like the idea of "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle". The name is derived from instead of leading from the beginning (cradle) to the end (grave), the cycle will continue on to another beginning. Cradle to Cradle design is a way to structure production techniques in order to render them not only efficient, but also waste free. In this system, all of the materials that will be input or output are seen as biological or technical nutrients of the earth. This way, the materials can be, in the case of technical, recycled, and in the case of biological, composted or used. ("Cradle-to-Cradle")
It is important to note that there are two cycles happening at the same time, in the Cradle to Cradle system. A technical one, and a biological one.
The first loop is the biological one. The biological metabolism of the cradle-to-cradle alternative consists of nutrients that are designed to be used and carefully returned to the environment to nourish its ecosystems. The materials from this cycle are produced with the help of solar energy, soil and water. They are the main source of biological nutrition for cities and communities. After being used, the nutrients are returned to the soil as a fertilizer. All elements in the biological cycle are taken from the earth and then safely returned to the earth, for a later use. This is a, normally, slower cycle than the next one, due to the fact that there is a time constraint. The soil must reabsorb nutrients, must reproduce to be harvest, used or extracted. It is not something that can rationally happen over the course of only 24 hours.
The technological cycle is described as the recycling cycle of products. It is first sold to the consumers who use it until it is no longer functional. Then the product is returned to the company or at a return center where it is then disassembled and produced as a brand new product. This cycle is specific to elements of production that cannot be safely returned to the earth in the state that they are in. Some transformed metals, as well as other particles such as the parts of a phone, cannot be used as fertilizer to resupply to the earth. Instead of ending up in landfills or in incinerators, companies will take apart the product and hopefully find use to it once again. In the case of a t-shirt, once it is no longer presentable enough to be worn around, you can turn it into a work shirt, pyjamas, and then once it is no longer in a good condition, you can turn pieces of the fabric into rags for dishes. Reusing, recycling and being creative are key components.
In all, the Cradle to Cradle system is one that should be adopted immediately into society. It is simple and easy for everyone to take part in, on a corporate and business level as well as on a level of personal solutions. It is a system that is economically viable and will help the economy, once the aim is put less on making short-term profit and more on sustainability.
"Cradle-to-Cradle : Sustainability Dictionary." Sustainability Dictionary RSS, sustainabilitydictionary.com/2005/12/03/cradle-to-cradle/. Accessed 02 Nov. 2017.