Houston, We Have a Solution

On Earth Day, The Houston Chronicle featured William McDonough and Cradle to Cradle, in advance of McDonough’s speech at the Progressive Forum.

Here’s an excerpt–

Imagine a plastic water bottle too useful to toss. A chair that can be disassembled for reuse. A building that produces more energy than it consumes.

Architect and product designer William McDonough, 61, practically sings when he talks about these things, because he has designed them – and seen most of them built. (He’s developing the water bottles now.)

He also co-founded the Make It Right Foundation with Brad Pitt, aiming to build 150 homes for residents of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

That project happened after Pitt read “Cradle to Cradle: Rethinking the Way We Make Things,” McDonough’s 2002 manifesto calling for the transformation of industry through science-based, profitable, ecologically intelligent design.

Pre-dating e-books, the print version of “Cradle to Cradle” put theory into practice. It’s made of durable, synthetic “paper” that can be scrubbed of its ink and recycled.

McDonough co-wrote the book with Michael Braungart, a German chemist and ecotoxicologist who’s now his partner in Cradle to Cradle endeavors, including certification programs for everything from textiles to household cleansers to beauty creams. (Products by Method, Kiehl’s and Aveda are among them.)

Read the full story here.