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Toward An Eco-Industrial Revolution
Can you imagine walking in a
beautiful park somewhere and seeing a sign that reads, "Please
Litter"? You'd probably think you had accidentally stepped into
the twilight zone. But we're not talking about some weird
alternate reality here; this is the future envisioned—and
being created—by Michael Braungart.
Ingenious chemist and eco-engineer Braungart is making
strides to eradicate industrial and consumer pollution by
designing and developing waste-free systems. Called
Cradle-to-Cradle Design, his system offers a framework for
designing products and processes based on a simple equation:
Waste = Food. By this logic, manufacturing systems can be
carefully designed and engineered to produce only recyclable
waste, and consumer products mass produced so that, at the end
of their useable life, they are able to be returned to nature as
biological enhancements rather than as intractable waste.
Some day very soon you might find yourself carelessly tossing
your trash out the window, secure in the knowledge that those
snack wrappers are going to melt into plant-friendly fertilizers
and that your old cell phone—made of completely
biodegradable material—cleverly harbors native plant seeds
and the nutrients to make them grow.