The Upcycle is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Cradle to Cradle, the most consequential ecological manifesto of our time. Now, drawing on the lessons gained from ten years of putting the cradle-to-cradle concept into practice with businesses, governments, and ordinary people, William McDonough and Michael Braungart envision the next step in the solution to our ecological crisis: We don't just reuse resources with greater effectiveness, we actually improve them as we use them.
For McDonough and Braungart, the questions of resource scarcity and sustainability are questions of design. And they are practical-minded visionaries: They envision beneficial designs of products, buildings, and business practices—and they show us these ideas being put to use around the world as everyday objects like chairs, cars, and factories are being reinvented not just to sustain life on the planet but to grow it. It is an eye-opening, inspiring tour of the next industrial revolution as it unfolds in front of us.
The Upcycle is every bit as ambitious as such classics as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring—but its mission is very different. McDonough and Braungart want to turn on its head our very understanding of the human role on earth: We should not just protect the planet from ourselves but should redesign our activity to improve the planet. And that goal is well within our reach.