Welsh poet John Dyer first used the term "cradle to grave" in the 1700s. Modern industry has a new spin on the term in the cradle to cradle model, or C2C. The environmental movement will never be the same.
Instead of considering a product's life cycle as might happen in a cradle to grave mindset, C2C goes beyond zero waste, considering infinite possibilities for use. The humble recycling bin gains new powers.
Authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart wrote the book considered a manifesto blending manufacturing with environmentalism. Their book, Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002, Barnes & Noble) outlines the basics. McDonough and Braungart developed a system setting quality standards that became the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program.
C2C discourages downcycling -- low-end products -- and favors upcycling -- products that offer improvements.
Examples of companies using C2C and promoting zero waste include Ecover consumer goods, Benjamin Moore Paints, Armstrong Building Products and Aveda Cosmetics.
C2C Centre, an international organization based in the Netherlands, represents 98 C2C companies worldwide. Their members produce a total of 417 products.
Aveda was one of eight companies to join the C2C movement in 2015, TriplePundit reported. The others were Method, JBC Belgium, Lauffenmuhle, the Carlsberg group, Herman Miller design, Shaw Industry carpet manufacturing and gDiapers.
Huge moves for the environment often begin with smaller steps that make participation easy for your workers. For more ideas on how to start your company's zero waste journey, visit our blog.