Sunday, April 22, 2007

This Book is Not a Tree

That's the title of the first chapter in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by McDonough and Braungart (2002). Instead of using paper to print their book, the authors used a polymer film. As a result, this book is not only readable, it's waterproof, too!

Anyway, I'm currently reading this book. It's a fascinating read, though you should be warned, it's not a "light" read. (In other words, this book is not like reading your favorite Cosmo magazine.)

I like this book because it explains the role of technology and the importance of product design on the myriad of artifacts we can't seem to live without. And it offers a hopeful, rather than a grim message, which I find refreshing.

This book clearly demonstrates an alternative printing method for the book publishing world. As Amy lamented in a recent comment, " seems that authors really are at loggerheads when it comes to [this] issue." Yet, this need not be the case. Cradle to Cradle really does offer innovative alternatives to reconciling these environmental and economic dilemmas.

Case in point: gdiapers.

Gdiapers is a company that offers an alternative to the cloth vs. disposable diaper issue. And it's the first company to receive a Cradle to Cradle certification for their product. (To see other companies with the Cradle to Cradle certificate, click here.)

Instead of continuing the same, tired debate (cloth vs. disposable), gdiapers gives us a third option: flushable diapers.

Skeptical? Read more about their product here.

I'm impressed by the fact that gdiapers are compostable (only the "wet" diapers, poo poo not allowed in the compost pile).

Anyway, knowing this information does give me hope. (And if I ever become a parent, I'll buy my diapers from this company.)

It also reminds me of our project. The media have done a fantastic job raising the "paper vs. plastic" issue. But they fail to discuss a third option: cloth bags. It's as though we only have two options, with no clear solutions. Yet, if you consider the third option, that's when the glimmer of hope arises. Too bad the media won't air my response when I've been asked this question.

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