Here’s the thing. I like the environment. I really do. I like trees, and animals–all of mother natures bounty really. The problem is, I’m a practical girl, and practicality does not often equal sustainability. I also like things. I’m a bit of a material girl in a material world. Do I need another pair of jeans? No, but I need them! For these reasons, my practicality and materialism, books about the environment usually make me guilty and defensive, rather than willing to make a change.
There are several problems with todays environmental movement. First of all, I don’t like being told the world would be better off if I, and my species didn’t exist. Cradle to Cradle does not share this view. In fact Michael Braungart and William McDonough realize that just because humans are the most intelligent creatures on the planet, doesn’t mean we have to be the most harmful. In fact we have the potential to do the most good. Not only do they see potential for good, they see a potential for good that not only improves the environment, but increases economic competition and efficiency. It seems sometimes that the enviornment and the Economy are at odds, one will hurt as the other improves. Braungart (obviously we needed German efficiency to get this done) and McDonough foresee a world where the environment and the economy share a symbiotic relationship. Not only do they foresee it, they have a strategy to make it happen that has been implemented by many businesses. Thanks to innovators and optimists like these two, the looming end of the world many environmentalists have been predicting many not come so soon after all.