Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002)


Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Published in 2002, Cradle to Cradle is widely acknowledged as one of the most important environmental manifestos of our time.



What is Cradle to Cradle?

In Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart present an integration of design and science that provides enduring benefits for society from safe materials, water and energy in circular economies and eliminates the concept of waste.

The book puts forward a design framework characterized by three principles derived from nature:


Everything is a resource for something else. In nature, the “waste” of one system becomes food for another. Everything can be designed to be disassembled and safely returned to the soil as biological nutrients, or re-utilized as high quality materials for new products as technical nutrients without contamination.

Use clean and renewable energy. Living things thrive on the energy of current solar income. Similarly, human constructs can utilize clean and renewable energy in many forms—such as solar, wind, geothermal, gravitational energy and other energy systems being developed today—thereby capitalizing on these abundant resources while supporting human and environmental health.

Celebrate diversity. Around the world, geology, hydrology, photosynthesis and nutrient cycling, adapted to locale, yield an astonishing diversity of natural and cultural life. Designs that respond to the challenges and opportunities offered by each place fit elegantly and effectively into their own niches.

Rather than seeking to minimize the harm we inflict, Cradle to Cradle reframes design as a positive, regenerative force—one that creates footprints to delight in, not lament. This paradigm shift reveals opportunities to improve quality, increase value and spur innovation. It inspires us to constantly seek improvement in our designs, and to share our discoveries with others.


Praise for Cradle to Cradle

One of the most influential recent books on design and environmentalism.”

—Alice Rawsthorn, The New York Times

A rare example of the ‘inspirational’ book that actually is.”

—Steven Poole, The Guardian

[McDonough and Braungart’s] ideas are bold, imaginative, and deserving of serious attention.”

—Ben Ehrenreich, Mother Jones

[A] clear, accessible manifesto . . . The authors’ original conceptsare an inspiring reminder that humans are capable of muchmore elegant environmental solutions than the ones we’ve settled for in the last half-century.”

Publishers Weekly

A readable, provocative treatise that ‘gets outside the box’ in ahuge way. Timely and inspiring.”

—Kirkus Reviews

For those of us who have a hunger to know what the next great idea will be, this highly readable book captures and challenges the imagination.”

—Sarah D. Scalet, OnEarth

With this book, McDonough and Braungart open our eyes to the way to genuine sustainability by the study of nature and mimicking her ways. This is a groundbreaking book that should be the Bible for the Second Industrial Revolution.”

—Dr. David Suzuki, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia


Get the Book

Cradle to Cradle has been translated into 13 languages thus far. Ordering information for 11 of those languages is below.

English Version
(ISBN 0-86547-587-3) entitled “Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way We Make Things”
German Edition
(ISBN 3-442-76183-2) entitled “Einfach intelligent produzieren”


Dutch Edition
(ISBN 978 90 5594 577 1) entitled “Cradle to Cradle: Afval = Voedsel”
French Edition
(ISBN 978-286227-672-4) entitled “Cradle to Cradle – Créer et recycler à l’infini”


Danish Edition
(ISBN 978-87-17-04063-2) entitled “Cradle to Cradle. Rigdom og vækst uden affald – en banebrydende vision for det 21. århundrede”
Hebrew Edition 
(DanaCode 462-423 ) entitled “מעריסה לעריסה”


Chinese Edition 
(ISBN 978-986-6807-17-6) for Taiwan entitled “從搖籃到搖籃 – 綠色經濟的設計提案”
Spanish Edition 
(ISBN 84-481-4295-0) entitled “Rediseñando la Forma en que hacemos las cosas: Cradle to Cradle (De la cuna a la cuna)”


 Italian Edition 
(ISBN 88-87417-72-5) entitled “Dalla culla alla culla: Come conciliare tutela dell’ambiente, equità sociale e sviluppo”
Hungarian Edition
(ISBN 978-963-9686-30-4) entitled “Bölcsotol Bölcsoig”


 UK Edition

UK (ISBN 978-0-224-08786-5) with a new introduction, entitiled “Cradle to Cradle: Remarking the way we make things” ORDER NOW »


The Technical Nutrient on which Cradle to Cradle was printed

The book was published in 2002, before MBDC did assessment and certification, so the polymer has not been assessed in that comprehensive way. Melcher Media is the best source for information. They arranged the publication of the book in the polymer material (in China). We are also aware that a company called Reproduct / C2C Holdings has something similar.