Cradle To Cradle Design and Production Certification

'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle' has been instilled in most of us since early childhood, partly as an effort to reduce the ubiquitous amounts of garbage left in our wake, partly as a lifestyle tenet that can be passed down for the following generations. Looking to the future, an emphasis on 'beyond recycling' will become more commonplace, with an emphasis on not only reducing the amount of consumables, but on minimizing products designed with a one-time use and a linear waste life cycle. The term 'cradle to cradle' has been around since the 1970's due in part to Walter Stahel, and through this term the concept of developing products that reside in circular waste streams was spawned. Circular waste streams represent a significant sea change in product design, and the term 'cradle to cradle' gained traction in the mainstream lexicon through the work of William McDonough and Michael Braugart. By using the mantra 'waste equals food,' cradle to cradle design has spawned a unique and innovative design model, one which adheres to very specific classifications and criteria in order to be deemed truly cradle to cradle. The Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Standard ensures that products are deemed certified only if they are designed according to five design requirements: they should be designed with safe and environmentally healthy materials that can be re utilized; materials must have been manufactured or assembled with minimal/renewable energy or carbon impacts; materials have to have been created using water conservation practices; product design and manufacturing must demand that all parties involved with the product design have been treated with social fairness.  In a world in which resources and space are becoming more and more limited, cradle to cradle design offers a 'green' and environmentally beneficial outlet for not only us grown up '3 R' kids, but also for following generations to adapt and build upon.