Sustainable You

Sustainability and the Built Environment

4900/6900 SY # 4 Let’s start talking about CONSUMPTION

Response due at the beginning of class Feb 2nd.

This is a two part question this week to support your reading of the book Cradle to Cradle. First, I’ll ask you to watch a video by a visionary thinker in the modern sustainability paradigm. Followed by reading a short article on how the ideas from the video are being translated into:

PART 1 – Introduction to Cradle2Cradle (C2C)

1) To support your reading of Cradle 2 Cradle, I ask you that you please watch the short video regarding Cradle2Cradle.

2) After watching the video and thinking about your reading, please write a solid summary explaining what is the Cradle2Cradle paradigm. Please explain the model of production and consumption. You may need to read ahead in the book regarding the difference between Cradle2Cradle and Cradle to Grave.

3) Does the C2C paradigm make sense to you? Or do you feel it is illogical? Please explain your belief either way.

PART 2 – Cradle2Cradle applied to Nike

Please read the article Nike: Running towards Sustainable Consumption by Marc Gunther. After you’ve read the article and watched the short commercial by Nike about “closed loop” production, please answer the following questions:

4) Please explain in your own words the concept of “closed loop” production and consumption. Feel free to do other research on the concept of production and consumption, many people consider “closed loop” to be part of the Cradle to Cradle paradigm and not the Cradle to Grave paradigm. The following image is a great example of a closed loop model being used in a school dining hall environment.

5) Please explain how Nike has implemented the concept of “closed loop” to their production and consumption retail model.

6) Do you respect the work Nike is doing around a closed loop model? Explain your answer.

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Filed under: Sustainable Design

17 Responses

  1. Adam Nowaczyk says:

    2) After watching the video and thinking about your reading, please write a solid summary explaining what is the Cradle2Cradle paradigm. Please explain the model of production and consumption. You may need to read ahead in the book regarding the difference between Cradle2Cradle and Cradle to Grave.

    Cradle to Cradle from what I understand is the ability to make/produce a product that will be able to be used again after its useful life has expired. This concept doesn’t necessarily represent the “reduce, reuse, recycle” method as much as the “rethinking” method. Cradle to Cradle also deals with the practice of using reusable materials and using renewable energy in their production. Bring it back instead of throwing it away. Borrow from the environment instead of take away.

    3) Does the C2C paradigm make sense to you? Or do you feel it is illogical? Please explain your belief either way.

    I think the model of C2C is fantastic. I think the implementation of the practice will be the challenge. Because of habit (as I’ve mentioned in previous posts) I think that is where we will see the most struggle. If a company has to rethink their entire strategy and change the way something is being produced there is most likely going to be a cost with putting that new strategy in place. Companies are about the bottom line unfortunately, investors are probably less likely to take a risk (as they see it) about putting the practices in place because they may not see that they will actually be gaining more in the future, but I’m sure if a earnings report explained this well enough investors would be more likely to participate and encourage new technology.

    4) Please explain in your own words the concept of “closed loop” production and consumption. Feel free to do other research on the concept of production and consumption, many people consider “closed loop” to be part of the Cradle to Cradle paradigm and not the Cradle to Grave paradigm. The following image is a great example of a closed loop model being used in a school dining hall environment.

    “Since Reuse-A-Shoe was established in 1990, we have recycled more than 23 million pairs of shoes and contributed to 320 sport surfaces.” I think this statement from the article does a great job of explaining the closed loop. If something is a shoe it can become sport surface. Most of the time when we buy shoes we then throw them away or let them sit and collect dust in the home. I think a concept like this is “neat” to put it in simplest terms, but it’s more complex than that.

    At the green expo this weekend, there was a booth with used glass bottles that were turned into lamps, ashtrays, dishes and other items. I think this is the idea of closed loop on a smaller scale. In my opinion closed loop is not the same as C2C because of the means in which the product is originally produced. In C2C we see a greener approach initially. Perhaps closed loop is that way in some cases, but it is not presented as such.

    5) Please explain how Nike has implemented the concept of “closed loop” to their production and consumption retail model.

    With allowing customers to bring in old shoes they are being responsible in terms of reusing already existing materials. It’s a good way to promote synergy. Though the article mentions that some of the recycling stations are far for the consumer to travel, so I think a stronger approach could be made if Nike really wants to get more serious and more involved in this practice.

    6) Do you respect the work Nike is doing around a closed loop model? Explain your answer.

    Yes, I do respect Nike. I think the quote from the article: “What’s more, unlike some companies, Nike isn’t designing one line of products to be sustainable or green, and then leaving the rest alone. It’s applying a single set of design metrics to shoes, apparel and equipment and measuring its progress.”

    Represents their commitment and ambition to do business while doing good. It’s a very rare thing. It’s also courageous. They may fail miserably with this direction, but pioneers never get respect anyway. I don’t own and Nike products, but I may have to start rethinking my own buying habits now.

  2. Megan Greene says:

    2. It is true that reducing waste will help our world, but not forever. Because there is only a certain amount of nonrenewable resources left in our world, reducing waste and usage is only prolonging our exhaust of resources. Right now, we have the mindset that a company produces something, we consume it, and then it becomes waste. However, Cradle to Cradle brings a new prospective into consideration. This paradigm is about keeping everything in a continuous cycle, letting nothing go to waste. People won’t need to reduce anymore, they will just reuse. Companies will produce products that won’t be consumed, but borrowed. Every part of a product can be brought back in the technical or biological cycle. Inputs of certain products can be used to make something completely different. Cradle to Grave just seems illogical. Why use something once and waste all its potential when it can be used again?
    3. If we move towards this lifestyle, I think it will be extremely effective in eliminating waste altogether, and it will be beneficial for generations to come. However, this practice would take an immense time commitment and hard work. People are so used to the concept of “one-time use” that it would be difficult to change their mindset. Also, companies would have to generate ideas about how to use products and materials again after they have already been used once. However, maybe not in this generation, but sometime in the future people will be forced to deal with the implications of waste, and this seems like the most practical way to fix the problem. It is almost common sense…why has no one thought of this before? Our society needs to lean away from always wanting the newest and the best and focus on the global impacts of their decisions.
    4. Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program has effectively turned over 23 million pairs of its shoes into 320 sport surfaces. I would never have thought that sport surfaces could be made out of shoes. That just shows that truly anything is possible with the Cradle to Cradle outlook. The “closed loop” concept is just that; turning one thing into another, into another, into another, so that it’s cycle never ends, the loop never opens. Consumers can benefit from this idea of closed loop because they can be the consumers of multiple things used from the same product. A person could have worn the Nike shoes that were donated to Reuse-A-Shoe, then played a sport on the surface that was made from the shoes. The production benefits the consumer by not letting their products go to waste while also benefiting the environment.
    5. Nike has set up Reuse-A-Shoe programs in many of their stores to allow customers to bring in old shoes. Nike then uses materials from these shoes to make new products, such as sporting surfaces. They are setting up a closed loop model by not letting shoes that are returned to them go to waste. However, there are still millions of shoes that are not being reused because of customers choice to not return used shoes. More consumers will benefit from this program if participation increases, and Nike will get more customers to participate it they establish more convenient locations for this program.
    6. I highly respect the work Nike is doing. Nike is a widely recognized company worldwide. People look up to those that make noticeable, bold moves. If people start to see major companies participating in this sustainability movement, they are likely to catch on and be greatly influenced. Nike has been a successful company for a long time now. It is great to see that they can continue to be prosperous, while supporting a new movement by implementing new programs and changing products. I definitely would buy Nike products over any other athletic brand knowing that they have begun to enact the closed loop model to their products.

  3. Katherine Holland says:

    1. N/A-Watch Video.
    2. I believe Cradle-to-Cradle is an idea to help solve the resource scarcity problem on our planet. The idea of minimizing materials during production and using less energy to eventually reduce the carbon footprint. In a production and consumption model, Cradle-to-Cradle is the way producers rethink the way they make their products and use materials effectively. Consumers must think about reducing their consumption of materials and stimulate recycling. The goal for both producers and consumers is to minimize the energy in the product lifecycle, keep all materials in continuous cycles, stimulate the use of renewable energy, and celebrate diversity. We can compare the idea of Cradle-to-Cradle and Cradle-to-Grave. Cradle-to-Cradle like I said before is the idea of being able to design a product that can be disassembled and used for new products. The video states that every part of a product is designed and brought back in the technical cycle or biological cycle like borrowing materials. The video does not explain the Cradle-to-Grave idea, but from my general understanding, it is the idea of creation to disposal during the lifecycle.

    3. The C2C paradigm makes sense to me. I completely understand and believe in this paradigm, C2C. I believe C2C is a great way for products and consumers to reduce their carbon footprint and “stimulate renewable energy for endless use.” The C2C program is focused on reusing, reducing, and recycling which seems to be the best idea right now for “preserving the planet.” The C2C model is not going to be easy for companies who are new to the idea, but what a great way to help sustain the environment.

    4. The “Closed Loop” system to me means simply using less material. Using fewer materials in the production of a product makes for an easy break down. The goal of the closed loop product is to recycle it into something new. The shoe video by Nike is a great example of a closed loop product that can be recycled and re-born into many other products. This closed loop system makes me happy because I recycle my running shoes. I run almost every day so I go through running shoes often. Knowing my shoes can be recycled into other products is a great incentive.

    5. Nike has implemented this concept of “closed loop” into their production and consumption retail model by promoting consumers to recycle their old shoes for reuse. Nike is using the closed loop system in their advertisements and products to encourage consumers to recycle their shoes. The concept of the “closed loop” system in Nike production and consumption has become a trendy process and a sustainable practice overall.

    6. Yes, I do respect the work Nike is doing around the closed loop model. As a Nike customer, being able to recycle my shoes is awesome. Now knowing about the closed loop system, the incentive to recycle my shoes is even greater knowing my old shoes will be made into a new product. Although it seems Nike needs to locate more areas where shoes can be dropped for recycle, they have already made a huge impact from using the closed loop system.

  4. Melodie Bundrage says:

    1. N/A

    2. The C2C paradigm is a model that rethinks the reduce, reuse, recycle strategy into a more effective solution. A new way of designing products from the onset in which 100% of the product either goes back to the earth (biodegradable or biological cycle) or back to a new product (technical cycle). The new design approach eliminates waste completely and only uses renewable energy. As the worlds population has increased, extraordinary high levels of consumption accompanied growth and this led to problems with resources not being reused or being wasted. C2C is a potential solution to the problems caused by production/consumption model.

    3. The C2C paradigm makes sense to me and it would have been great if this idea was thought of and fully implemented around Industrial Revolution times but just as in the days of William Morris, everyone will not agree with the analysis of the damage or how to correct the problem. Although it makes sense, I see problems with implementing this new design system and some include: how to educate the everyday lay person/small inventor/entrepreneur on environmental, material and scientific issues that will affect their business and design process, a total reinvention of trade school and higher education system, government regulation and monitoring of every new product, and a finite way to switch systems and dispose of or reuse products we already have created. I see how the reuse strategy isn’t working but we are faced with an insurmountable amount of goods that will still be under that system so I am unsure how the C2C strategy will address those items in the changeover. Just in fashion alone, there is not enough demand to reuse in this country or in developing countries what we have already created. Thought should also be given to how the reuse of products will impact economic sustainability of business and trade for example the second hand clothing from the US is a real problem for starting clothing businesses in developing countries.

    4. Closed Loop production is a strategy that keeps the manufacturing of products out of a landfill or from being incinerated at the end of the products life. This strategy does not incorporate the initial design but only addresses end of life. I have the same concerns with this strategy as addressed in number 3 but I also see opportunities of cost savings, creativity, and consulting to implement in small businesses and supply chains. As with any strategy, the businesses will be concerned with whether this type of production is profitable or not and measuring the impact. I recall the book mentioning a problem with as we turn one product into another the new product being a down cycled product because of the ingredients not remaining high quality. This issue would also need to be addressed with the CL model in accessing product value and price.

    5. Nike has implemented closed loop into the retail model by allowing shoes to by recycled and the materials turned into sporting surfaces. The shoes which are created with as few materials as possible are also designed to be disassembled easily and allows the materials to be recycled. From what I read, Nike is closed loop but is also incorporating C2C since it begins with the initial design of the product. In order to make the recycle program feasible for consumers a variety of recycle center ideas would need to be put in place including possibly at POS, partnering with local third party recreation organizations or rec centers.

    6. I can not say that I respect Nike as a company in general because this is an environmental yet consumer based strategy that will sell more shoes and although that is the reason they are in business and is good on the surface Nike still seems to have other deeper issues in leading sustainability efforts through its factories or supply chain such as in the 2010 case of trying to avoid paying severance pay to Honduran workers.

  5. Katie Jones says:

    1. N/A
    2. After watching the video and thinking about our reading I have come to realize that what we have been taught growing up and what is said in the media is not necessarily the steps we need to be taking in order to live in a more sustainable world. Yes the common phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” is a better approach to the environment than taking no action at all but it in no way solves the issues of sustainability that we are facing today. As the movie states, it is “only really being less bad.” Instead, the Cradle2Cradle paradigm wants us to look deeper into the issues of sustainability and really requires every person/business to become accountable for the materials they use and the waste they produce. We will continuously use 100% good quality materials, stimulate the use of renewable energy only, and celebrate the diversity that surrounds us. Their is a biological cycle and a technical cycle that production and consumption continuously follows, as materials are borrowed rather than thrown out.
    3. I understand and believe in the C2C paradigm but think that to actually implement this idea and design it on a global scale will be much easier said than done. Although people are starting to realize the impact of our wastefulness and the future scarcity of the world’s natural resources, I don’t think enough people are on board globally to really change the entire way we produce and consume materials. The United States in particular is a very consumption based nation. We are brought up to believe that the more gadgets and lavish materials we own, the better we are perceived by others. We are obsessed with the latest and greatest technology and are constantly looking at ways to better the things we already own. Although this thinking is great for innovation and technology, it creates a huge problem for our environment. This paradigm would require more education about the harmful products we are producing and its harmful effects on everything around us. I am not by any means saying that it isn’t possible, I just think that it will take a lot of conscious efforts by many people and business and I am not sure that they understand the severity of the situation.
    4. The concept of “closed loop” production and consumption is really simple when you break it down. It is simply the idea that any product could be broken down and made into any other product and therefore eliminating “the shelf life”. As the video stated, “anything can become anything.” It is directly related to the Cradle2Cradle paradigm because the “closed loop” keeps every product in the continuous cycle that the paradigm talks about.
    5. Nike has used this in their production and consumption retail model by encouraging their customers to recycle their old tennis shoes so that they then can be taken apart and used in the production of another material and therefore doesn’t produce waste. This is all good and well until you realize how many shoes Nike actually makes and how they have yet to implement any new technologies or joint programs with other shoe companies.
    6. I do respect the work that Nike has done however am a tad angered at the fact that if they are creating this huge marketing campaign/program but aren’t really taking it a step farther to really create change. I don’t think the company is really stepping up and taking action to forever improve their technologies so that they can use the closed loop for every product they produce. Nike is such a large, influential company that I think if they were to boldly take action, then I think many other companies would follow suit.

  6. Kelsey Savell says:

    Cradle to cradle is about true sustainability. The model articulates that products should be designed with their afterlife at the forefront of the designers’ minds; it is a vision of a world in which all of our products are reusable (recycled, but not downcycled), produced with materials that are natural and safe, and require the least amount of energy possible (preferably renewable) to make and use. At the end of a product’s life, its elements should be able to decompose naturally without releasing toxins into the environment (the biological cycle) or they should be able to be reused in another product of at least equal quality (the technical cycle). Currently our businesses are modeled on consumption, an outdated mindset that resulted from the Industrial Revolution, when resources seemed abundant and the acquisition of capital was the primary concern (without regard to ecological, cultural, aesthetic, or social concerns). This mindset results in a “linear, one-way” cradle-to-grave model in which “[r]esources are extracted, shaped into products, sold, and eventually disposed of in a ‘grave’ of some kind, usually a landfill or incinerator.” The authors purport that this line of thinking is “outdated and unintelligent,” and that if we learned to really harness our creativity, culture, and productivity, we could enter into an era of continuous production in which we wouldn’t have to throw “away” anything. Enter the model of production: cradle to cradle is a closed loop cycle where every product is in continuous use, either by consumers, manufacturers, or the natural world. It also explains why eco-efficiency and the “reduce, reuse, recycle” model are only delaying the inevitable problems we will be forced to confront eventually and calls the models on how to be “less bad.” Cradle to cradle proposes that we celebrate our human capabilities and ingenuity and harness them for good doing, that we design products “to get bigger and better in a way that replenishes, restores, and nourishes the rest of the world.”

    I definitely do not think that C2C is illogical, but right now I do see it as unattainable. I think the fact that the authors could not even design their book to fit the C2C model (it is upcycle-able but still off-gases) speaks most succinctly to how difficult a task they lay at our feet. I think it is a novel ideal to work toward, but it would take some serious innovation to move even a single product or service to a closed-loop cycle. For example, using sewage as fertilizer—how do we get people to stop throwing toxic substances down their drains so farmers can trust the fertilizer will not poison their crop? Also, I cannot see the globalized production process going away anytime soon. Companies should be held responsible for and be required to make public all the toxins in its products which could be done through regulation. Countries should also be responsible for ensuring they are complying with current environmental practices which could also be done through regulation. But the authors also take issue with regulation…..

    The closed loop cycle is what I referred to earlier as continuous production. No part of the product is thrown “away”; it is either being used by the consumer, the manufacturer, or nature at all times. As the book puts it, waste becomes food (food for new products or for the environment). In order to ensure that products will not be toxic when returned to nature, Nike must pay special attention to the types of chemicals and materials they use.

    According to the article, Nike has a shoe recycling program that uses old shoes to generate new products—new shoes, sports equipment, apparel, or refinishing a tennis court. I’m especially impressed that the company is attempting to generate an entire closed-loop product line instead of creating a test product first. Nike has made much progress on the production front, but not so much on consumption. “Green” advertising is trending today, and so I was surprised to read that Nike has not done much marketing about its Considered Design. Perhaps it is exactly because green advertising is trending that Nike has chosen not to go that route. It may appear less credible (because of greenwashing) or may feel like its products will not stand out. As the author points out, this is problematic because consumers (1) often do not know that they can make such a sustainable purchase when they need new tennis shoes and (2) if they do know their shoes are recyclable, they do not know how they can recycle them, and so Nike does not really succeed in changing consumer behavior.

    I definitely respect that Nike is taking initiative. Putting ideas into action is the first step to creating a sustainable future. Now that they have a model in place, they can alter it how they see fit and hopefully continue to improve. The transition to cradle to cradle will be a long, involved process for any company, and it is nice to see that one as successful and reputable as Nike is willing to begin to work toward that vision.

  7. Hannah Greenberg says:

    1. From my interpretation, Cradle2Cradle is essentially making production into a continuous life cycle. A lot of products and goods that we consume now are not part of this life cycle. After being consumed, they “die,” or become waste. With Cradle2Cradle, however, these goods are put back into the lifecycle as renewable energy. The Cradle2Cradle model is an updated, more efficient concept of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” When using Cradle2Cradle, everything that goes into the production of the goods will be reusable, and not harmful to the earth. In summary, Cradle2Cradle efficiently redoes the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” idea.
    2. The Cradle2Cradle paradigm makes sense to me, but I do feel as if it is somewhat illogical. By saying illogical, I think it is illogical to a country like the United States. The United States is a country that is not very green. Further, we are a country that focuses on mass production and only sees dollar bills. Changing to the C2C paradigm would require a lot of money, and a lot of new employees to figure out how to implement the idea. Theoretically, I think the C2C paradigm makes perfect sense, just not to our country.
    3. The “Closed Loop” idea is pretty much the same as the Cradle2Cradle paradigm. It is the concept that something, once used, can be created into something else, and the transformation will continue so on. It focuses on limiting the amount of materials that go into the production of the good, so that it can be easily broken down.
    4. Nike implements the use of closed loop through their Reuse-A-Shoe program. Once the shoes are recycled, they are then transformed into something that the consumer can use too, such as an athletic surface.
    5. I think this is a great program, however, I think promotion is key to this. A lot of companies offer different recycling ideas, but they are not promoted or pushed hard enough. For instance, Staples offers discounts on ink cartridges when you return your used one. I don’t think they do a good enough job of promoting this. The main reason I do this is because I am the typical, cheap college student. I think promotion is essential to a program’s success.

  8. Brittany Biggers says:

    1. In today’s society we are constantly taking resources and then throwing them away to create waste. With the growing population this has and will become a major problem. The C2C system starts with only creating productions for consumption out of renewable resources. This means that we would not be depleting our planet of its resources. The next step is to take these renewable resources and turn them into products for consumers. Then, when the consumer is done with the product they can return it back to the company (or whoever is in charge) so that it can be broken down. These disassembled parts will then be used to make new products. Therefore, no resources are being depleted and no waste is created.

    2. I think the it is completely logical. We as a species rely on the planet for survival. If all of our resources are used up and planet is destroyed it will destroy our species as well. The idea to use reusable resources only without creating waste seems like the only logical answer. At the rate that our population is growing this will be imperative if we want to ensure that our species will not go extinct. But although I believe in this concept whole heartedly I do not necessarily see this being realistic on a global scale anytime soon (unfortunately). Consumerism is solely motivated by money. I do not see any major corporations spending billions of dollars implementing systems like this any time soon unless there is a huge demand from the consumers themselves. As a consumer, I would definitely push for products like this, but I sadly know a low of people that could care less about the environment.

    3. Closed loop production does have a lot of similarities to the C2C idea. The main difference is they do not start off using renewable resources. Closed loop production means that after something is produced, it can then be recycled into a new product. This is different from C2C, because C2C focuses using nonrenewable resources to make a product, then using that product to make a new product continuously in a cycle. It seems to me that Nike’s idea of closed loop production is basically just recycling something by turning it into something else.

    4. Nike has taken the idea of closed loop production and added it to their company by taking old products that they have and making them into new products like shoes, shirts, balls, fields, etc.

    5. I respect Nike for making such an effort, because there are a lot of companies doing much worse. I do think Nike is slacking on advertising programs like this, because Nike advertisements are everywhere but I had never heard of this program. And I think that the number of products made using closed loop production are extremely low compared to their regular products, but like I said in #2, it is all up to the consumer. If there was more of a demand for these products I think Nike would make more of an effort to put them out there. Then again, how is there going to be demand for a product that people do not know about?

  9. Ari Strickland says:

    P1–
    Cradle2Cradle is calling for a change in our mindset across the board. It is calling us to be conscious of everything we consume so we can be as friendly to our poor, old Earth as possible. The paradigm is basically saying if we actually think about the way we make and design things, and use materials more efficiently and effectively, we can create goods that remain in a constant closed cycle of use, reuse, and repurpose. The big thing was encouraging us to not focus on being “less bad”, but being as good and effective as possible with every choice we make. The focus was on using ONLY reusable materials, and expending ONLY renewable energy (hello, it’s EVERYWHERE!) The paradigm also calls for a new design approach, calling all producers to know exactly what materials are going into the goods so they can be effectively returned to the cycle or the Earth. I love the “Don’t use but BORROW” idea.
    It all makes perfect sense to me, and I fully support the cause. The earth is full of resources that we can use that can be replaced so why do we even bother the things that can’t and won’t?

    P2–
    Please explain in your own words the concept of “closed loop” production and consumption–
    Closed loop production in a nutshell
    -using the fewest possible materials (don’t use what isn’t necessary, that’s wasteful)
    -design products easy for dis-assembly so they can be easily recycled into a new product or sssaafeely returned to Nature at the end of their life
    Closed loop consumption is about mindfully buying products that are a part of this closed loop cycle, and always being conscious of the footprint your goods will leave behind even if they can’t be obtained from a closed loop production system.

    Please explain how Nike has implemented the concept of “closed loop” to their production and consumption retail model–
    Nike is choosing to employ designers who aim to always “reduce waste, solvents and energy, and employ environmentally friendly materials.” Nike is implementing this not only for their shoes, but for all of their products and materials that can’t be repurposed back into apparel or shoes are made into “Nike Grind” which is a material used to resurface playing fields. They have the option for consumers to drop off shoes that have reached the end of their life.

    6) Do you respect the work Nike is doing around a closed loop model? Explain your answer.
    Yes!! I had no idea that Nike was green at all, since like they said, they don’t market the sustainability of their company as much as the athletic benefits. I am thrilled to hear that they are making such steps. It is a little sad to hear that they have been working on this since 1990, and it’s 2012 and I had no idea. Its also sad to me, after reading this critical article that the actual Nike old shoe drop-off stores are few and far between. I wish Nike would make it more known that they are being green. If they did, I feel sure that their efforts would be more rewarding and more progress would come in the area of sustainability.

  10. Karen Cotton says:

    2) After watching the video and thinking about your reading, please write a solid summary explaining what is the Cradle2Cradle paradigm. Please explain the model of production and consumption. You may need to read ahead in the book regarding the difference between Cradle2Cradle and Cradle to Grave.

    My understanding of the Cradle2Cradle paradigm is trying to reserve and or reuse resources so that my kids and their kids will have resouces available for them. It can be done by using 2 strategies. One being minimizing or using fewer materials and using less energy and the other being able to rethink the way we make things. We must use material efficiently and improve quality. The video equates Cradle2Cradle with waste=food. I sum it up as a old saying that I used to hear which is “eat all of your food because there are children elsewhere hungry; do not throw it away”.

    3) Does the C2C paradigm make sense to you? Or do you feel it is illogical? Please explain your belief either way.

    I think C2C definitely make sense otherwise where is all of this useless stuff going to go. My only issue is that I do not want to know if a cup that Iam drinking out of was once a part of a toilet or something or something unsanitary eventhough it has steamed, cleaned, melted, broken down, sterilized and all of that good stuff.

    4) Please explain in your own words the concept of “closed loop” production and consumption. Feel free to do other research on the concept of production and consumption, many people consider “closed loop” to be part of the Cradle to Cradle paradigm and not the Cradle to Grave paradigm. The following image is a great example of a closed loop model being used in a school dining hall environment.

    The closed loop cycle is for one a recycling program that Nike has whereas they use the old shoes to resurface playing fields. Closed loop is making a conscious effort and conscious decision when designing a product so that at the end of the shelf life of the product it does not just end up stock piling in a landfield.

    5) Please explain how Nike has implemented the concept of “closed loop” to their production and consumption retail model.

    As I mentioned above Nike has a recycling program for old athletic shoes. I love friendly competition and Nike has theit design teams competing with each other as to who can design Nike quality products but still reduce waste, save energy and use environmentally friendly material.

    6) Do you respect the work Nike is doing around a closed loop model? Explain your answer.

    I do respect the work that Nike is doing by basically requiring that their designers are aware of sustainability. I am on the fence as to whether or not to be dissapointed in Nike for not marketing this more. However, I can somewhat understand why they don’t. If you are paying an arm and a leg for their tennis shoes like most of their customers do then the customer probably does not want to know that they do not have an “original product”. Their customer attitude could probably be “why do I have to give this billion dollar company anything back; they have rhe money to make whatever they want to happen

  11. Mary Alice Jasperse says:

    2) After watching the video and thinking about your reading, please write a solid summary explaining what is the Cradle2Cradle paradigm. Please explain the model of production and consumption. You may need to read ahead in the book regarding the difference between Cradle2Cradle and Cradle to Grave.
    I see Cradle2Cradle as a production model that thinks about the consumption and the end game of that product from the very beginning. The book explains these designs to be “loved by all the children, of all species, all the time.” To me, this is more of a philosophical, warm fuzzy quote that doesn’t really mean much. What is important is that at the point of production, the concept of where that product will go has already been thought out. This ‘end game,’ in order to be a true cradle to cradle material, must be resourced for an upgrade. Biodegradable is nice, and degrading into compost is also nice, but when people see the secondary or tertiary product when they buy the primary product, they are more likely to donate that product to the correct location for its reincarnation. The consumer now has a dog in the fight.
    3) Does the C2C paradigm make sense to you? Or do you feel it is illogical? Please explain your belief either way.
    This paradigm makes complete sense to me. I feel kind of embarrassed to be a part of a society that has fostered such a linear thought process for so long. A great part of our waste downfall has been this concept of wrapping everything up in Styrofoam and plastics to make them look pretty or appear fresh. What happened to meat being wrapped in butcher paper? Why do I need to put bananas in a plastic bag before I put them in a grocery cart? Many of these problems (of freshness and of packaging) occur because the distance our products travel require packaging. Localized methods of consuming are promoted in this Cradle2Cradle ideal, which makes perfect sense. When we have diversified demand, the diversity of our needs will be met.
    PART 2 – Cradle2Cradle applied to Nike
    4) Please explain in your own words the concept of “closed loop” production and consumption.
    To me, the “closed loop” production/consumption model produces with the repurpose of the good in mind. This is integral to the cradle to cradle concept. Part of the lunchroom closed loop I disagree with, but I see it is extremely difficult to follow my personal ideals on a large scale. For instance, they are promoting “recyclable” flatware. If you have metal flatware that you wash and use over and over, isn’t that better than recycling? Also, they talk about recycling cans and other wastes. Our lunchroom has soda dispensers without cans, which works because you can wash out the cups and when the soda is mixed yourself more profit can be made on the coke. True closed loop should be less about recycling and more about reusing. All food waste should go to a compost pile, paper napkins should also be composted.
    5) Please explain how Nike has implemented the concept of “closed loop” to their production and consumption retail model.
    Nike has used the closed loop concept in their shoe production by having a shoe that can be up-cycled into a shirt. They formerly have technology for chopping up the shoes and making indoor surfaces, but this is the first time they can make their shoes into other gear. One of the shortcomings mentioned in the article talks about Nike having trouble reclaiming the shoes and shipping them to a central location. It could be interesting as a consumer to be able to track your shoes from the moment you sent them back to Nike (after they’re worn out) to when it becomes a new shirt or yoga mat. This could give consumers piece of mind and make their investment worth it.
    6) Do you respect the work Nike is doing around a closed loop model? Explain your answer

    I definitely respect the work Nike is doing. For instance, I have these shoes made out of hemp. However, I would not have bought them if I thought they were ugly. And I don’t even think I can recycle them. For this project to be successful for Nike, they will need to explain the whole process to the consumer as they are buying the shoes. How to send the shoes back in, etc. I am imagining it could be a similar experience to renting a textbook. After all, the materials would just be borrowed for a couple of years and returned.

  12. JoAnn M says:

    1.) N/A

    2.) The Cradle2Cradle paradigm is really, in a matter of words, a “duh” kind of idea…It comprises the idea, that makes a product reusable, after it’s initial time of expiration. In essence, we’re extending the life of our resources and energy. By doing this, we will obviously consume less, take up less space in the environment for waste, and use less energy to create new products. Cradle2Cradle is taking each product back to an initial state of birth.

    3.) I think the paradigm of C2C “seems” wonderful and simple at a glimpse, but when we are asked to delve into this idea, it is much more complex than it appears. For one, to make this idea of reusing, recycling, and renewing work, it would take changing the mind set of billions of people. Granted even the few that can grasp this concept do indeed help, I do not believe that they can change the years and years of waste and destruction that has already been done alone. Together though, a difference unimaginable could be attained. Secondly, on a large scale, so much money would have to be poured into changing practice, education, and new technologies. This alone, will be very hard for people to be willing to accept, if they cannot see the immediate rewards and only the huge amount of investments and time. In essence, yes, I believe this is a wonderful idea and viewpoint, but I also believe the world we line in to be very selfish and unreasonable.

    4.) To me, the closed loop production and consumption is an idea of continuous motion. It doesn’t stop at the creation of its first product and sometimes not second. It’s life cycle is infinite. In my family, bows and tissue paper live forever! After any type of special occasion where wrapping may be used, you can always fine either my mother or I, folding papers neatly, and saving bows. W e don’t necessarily ever use them for anything else other than wrapping in the future, but there life is well extended over just one year.

    C2C proposes the idea of never ending, but to me, one ingredient lacks in the equation and it’s creativity. When we stop becoming innovative, we reach dead ends. With dead ends come useless, run-down, expired products. Creativity is what will fuel the closed loop cycle in my opinion.

    5.) Nike is definitely taking a step in the right direction (no pun intended). They just need to take a FURTHER step in my opinion. By allowing customers to recycle used shoes at their stores, they are certainly promoting sustainability. Although it was mentioned that some locations are simply to far for consumers. I believe Nike should pair with partners for easier access to drop of locations. This would not only encourage more people to donate, but also be more efficient on fuel and time.

    6.) I am so far in different about Nike’s actions. Again, in essence it’s a great idea, BUT by their poor marketing approach and lack of ambition to make this project succeed, are they really doing this as a publicity stunt to say they’re “being green” or do they really care and just don’t know how to market this attribute to their company? I think the answer is obvious considering Nike is a HUGE corporation…. I believe doing two small things would increase the response to this movement and make the public more aware to its existence. 1. Providing inserts in or on the shoe boxes explaining the movement briefly and how “you” can help with steps to donate. 2. Providing easier drop off locations for people to participate. Neither of these options would require that much more investment and would significantly increase donations and awareness.

  13. Cameron Gordon says:

    2) Society at large today faces the looming prospect of a resource crisis, possibly within our lifetimes. In response to this cycle of current products that are manufactured, used, then discarded regardless of their potential reuse, the Cradle2Cradle system has arisen. Cradle2Cradle is a holistic manufacturing process where the entire lifetime of the product is planned for so that its components can be disassembled, reused, or returned to the earth in an environmentally friendly way. With this process, it is possible to “borrow” from the earth as opposed to just taking resources at an unsustainable rate. C2C allows us to stretch and recycle earth’s resources so that they may last for posterity.

    3) The basic concept behind Cradle2Cradle is both wise and elegant. Preventing the waste of earth’s resources in addition to creating a new method of manufacturing and marketing products for consumers makes sense from a socioeconomic sensibility. The Cradle2Cradle system is definitely one that looks good on paper, However I feel that implementing such processes on a global scale seems unlikely at this point in time. While certain industries such as fashion or home goods lend themselves to makings C2C possible, there are others that C2C may not be feasible for such types of production.

    4) The “closed loop” production and consumption model seems similar to that of Cradle2Cradle. The closed loop model allows old products to be made into other types of things to prevent waste, whereas the C2C process is implemented with more foresight where the end products are already conceptualized in mind with initial production. The closed loop system looks to me more like a slow spiral, because some of the end products do not further breakdown for disassembly (eg nike grind). However the closed loop system does fit within the framework of C2C; both have similar aims of sustainability.

    5) Nike has used the “closed loop” model in their shoe production by letting old, worn out sneakers to be cycled into other products, playing surfaces, etc. The world cup jerseys are another example of this process. Despite these positive actions, there still lies logistical problems with full implementation, such as finding collection centers for the shoes; the costs and carbon footprint associated with shipping and handling as well. The fact that they have kept this sort of under the radar I feel is detrimental to the actual good that could be done with this type of program.

    6) I am very much on board with such a large international retailer opting for and implementing sustainable practices. If more major companies follow suit, there may be an effect derived from leading by example. Although their process is by no means perfected, Nike offsets these potential pitfalls by qualifying with the “marathon, not a sprint” metaphor. While only a fraction of what Nike does is actually making a difference, clever public relations and advertising go a long way in seeding ideas and concepts for sustainability at least in my personal opinion.

  14. Melissa Worth says:

    2) Cradle2Cradle (C2C) is a paradigm that encourages designers to produce innovative products that will allow us to keep all materials in continuous use. That is, we will continue to reuse the components of each product indefinitely, instead of simply recycling the products after their useful lives are over. Also, the C2C paradigm focuses on only using renewable energy in production, which will allow us to avoid resource scarcity as the Earth’s population continues to grow.

    3) From an environmental econ perspective, the idea of Cradle2Cradle doesn’t make sense because the technology isn’t there yet. The goal of every producer is to maximize profit, and, of course, implementing Cradle2Cradle would impose additional costs to research & development, design, etc. Conceptually, however, I think it’s a fantastic idea & I would love to see it evolve in the future.

    4) In my opinion, the concept of “closed loop” production & consumption is more closely related to the Cradle to Grave paradigm because, as I have learned in my environmental econ class, residuals from production & consumption can be reduced, reused, & recycled back into the market for a while; however, eventually, those residuals are returned to nature. I think it is possible to have a “closed loop” system that more closely aligns with the C2C paradigm, but I don’t think we’re there yet—neither physically nor emotionally.

    5) Nike has implemented the concept of “closed loop” to their production & consumption retail model by allowing their consumers to recycle their products, which can then be made into virtually any product. For example: a pair of tennis shoes can become a tennis court, an apparel item, or any number of other things. Also, Nike strives to reduce the amount of materials that they use in production, but I think it’s unfortunate that Nike does not promote its commitment to sustainability, especially now when “going green” seems to be the thing to do.

    6) As noted above, I think it’s unfortunate that Nike doesn’t do more to promote their vision, but I do respect them for at least making an effort. Sustainability, I believe, starts on the smallest scale & then can evolve into something huge. But maybe Nike doesn’t promote their vision as much because they’re still in the business of selling shoes. Although they may be making progress towards more sustainable consumption, part of their business is making their products obsolete so that consumers will continue to purchase products that they do not need.

  15. Samantha says:

    The concept of cradle to cradle really reminds me of a video my AP Eviro. Teacher once showed the class back in the day…The Story of Stuff (http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-stuff/) watch it its so good. The concept of consumption is truly at the root of our environmental crisis, or at least that’s what I believe. The problem that this 20-min short film and C2C is trying to address is planned obsolescence. We buy products with the intention of throwing them out in the near future. One – time use products are the worst offenders. All this energy goes into making plastic spoons and paper plates that we throw away without flinching. So, C2C is the movement trying to make our usage and consumption a cyclical system instead of a linear one (where we use and then throw out). In a cyclical system we would upcycle, and recycle all our products. We would figure out a way to turn our waste (negative externalities) into something productive like a possible energy source.
    In theory it’s great that Nike recycles their sneakers and promotes it, however, Nike still is a company that is concerned about the bottom line. Which is realistic. Our next step is not concerned with recycling SOME parts from the rubber soles of our sneakers, but instead heavily reducing our consumption at the source. Our society needs to shift from a notion of constantly buying and updating – to one that is happy already with what they currently own. However, that goes against every part of capitalism and I’m afraid not many Americans will ever see that side of sustainability, at least not the major corporations.

  16. Laney Haag says:

    2) The Cradle2Cradle paradigm is an idea that goes beyond the reuse, reduce, recycle movement that we are experiencing today. The goal of this paradigm is “Not to be less bad, but to be100% good” and also to try to work towards avoiding a resource scarcity in the future. I think the C2C paradigm is very similar to the closed loop concept. They both are about using materials that can be broken down and used over again and again.

    3) Yes the Cradle-2-Cradle paradigm makes sense to me. With the world population surpassing seven billion people, there is no surprise that resources are depleting and we need to make a drastic change to the way we view sustainability. The web article about C2C gives an example of a problem we face with the reuse, reduce, and recycle movement, “Recycling carpet, for example, might reduce consumption, but if the attached carpet backing contains PVC, which most carpet backing does, the recycled product is still on a one-way trip to the landfill, where it becomes hazardous waste”. People think that recycling alone is going to improve the environment for generations to come, but they need to realize it’s going to take a lot more. I think education is the key to a concept like this, but it is going to take a lot of time and effort.

    4) The concept of “closed loop” production and consumption means creating products that can be reused over and over again. The products are made with materials that can be reused to make a newer version of the same product or a completely different product. The goal is to make products that are not just thrown out after one consumer uses them. The Nike World Cup Shirts, which were made from recycled bottles, are a great example of this “Anything can become anything” concept.

    5) Nike has implemented the “closed loop” concept by their Reuse a Shoe program. Taking recycled shoes, breaking them down, and reusing the materials for sport surfaces is definitely enabling the product to be used past its “shelf life”. The production of the Dart VII running shoe, which is made from recycled materials, is another way Nike is implementing this concept.

    6) Yes, I respect the work Nike is doing. The fact that you can bring in your old shoes and have them recycled at no charge at Nike stores puts them ahead of many other running shoe companies in my opinion. Most of Nike’s customers are worried about the performance of their running shoe, not whether or not it was made from recycled materials. I think this proves that Nike is taking the initiative to become more sustainable for the right reasons. If Nike begins to implement some of these ideas and products, I think many other companies will follow the sustainability movement.

  17. The Cradle to Cradle paradigm has come about because the industrial revolution took hold of America without considering the consequences for the future. It made things newer, faster, and easier for people and was a good thing at the beginning. But now the effects of the industrial revolution and the built environment are becoming a prevalent issue today. Now people are starting to rethink industrial society and how it affects the environment and the earth. We are realizing we need to take care of our environment insterad of just taking advantage of it with purely opportunistic design. Production and consumption are a large part of our society, but need to be rethought and reorganized in order to protect the environment and make it sustainable for the future
    -The Cradle to Cradle paradigm does make sense to me. When the industrial Revolution started people were not thinking about the consequences, but now that htey are we are trying to find ways to fix them and the cradle to cradle paradigm is a great start to that.
    -Closed loop production and cosnumpotion is making things in an environmetally friendly manner to where production has the least negative effect on the environment and the product can also be taken apart easily and its parts recylced either into another product or returned back to nature safely
    -Nike has does a really good job maki8ng products that fit5 the closed loop cycle

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