We interview Michael Braungart, co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (Northpoint Press) with green architect William McDonough.
In 2002, William McDonough and Michael Braungart published Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (Northpoint Press). They identify two fundamental problems. The first is that we design products to be thrown "away" when, in fact, there is no "away," and cradle-to-grave designs foul our own nest. The Earth is a finite, closed, living system, and the things we produce are not beamed to a distant galaxy but stay right here and affect the health of our planet.
Think of each of your five senses (taste, touch, smell, hearing, sight) as a rock in the foundation that supports your home. Five stones won’t allow an addition off the main house, nor will they support the weight of a second story. A storm might push your home off such a minimal foundation. The more senses you awaken and use the more support you will have in all your endeavors. More is better. The more sensory support you have, the less stress you"ll experience. When stress does sneak up, your sense-ability’s wisdom naturally helps you understand the source of your stress and guides you to what is needed to feel alive and whole again.
The nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity filed suit in federal court last week calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate coastal waters off southwest Alaska as critical habitat for dwindling numbers of sea otters. If the court sides with environmentalists, the federal government would have to limit or ban oil drilling and other industrial activities in the area that could harm the long-term survival of the marine mammals, which were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2005 following declines of up to 90 percent.
A new report by the international nonprofit WWF details how scientists have uncovered dozens of species of plants and animals formerly unknown to science in the jungles and coastal waters of the Indonesian island of Borneo. Scientists working under the auspices of WWF’s Heart of Borneo program report discovering 30 unique fish species, two tree frog species, 16 ginger species, three tree species and one large-leafed plant species.
Dear EarthTalk: I’m moving into a freshly painted apartment, and am curious to know whether it makes any sense to repaint the walls with non-toxic paint in hopes of "covering up" the toxic stuff already there. Or is it too late?
Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard the term "greenbelts" pertaining to the natural coastline barriers in India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka that protected some people from the worst of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. But what are greenbelts that exist in urban areas?
Querido DiálogoEcológico: ¿Cuales son los carros menos dañinos hoy día para el ambiente y los que tienen mejor rendimiento en combustible? También, ¿son las baterías de los coches híbridos reciclables?
Querido DiálogoEcológico: ¿Qué pasa con la matanza de caballos en los Estados Unidos, que se hace principalmente para exportar carne a Europa?