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Cradle to Cradle Concepts
 

Cradle to Cradle Terminology 

 

BIOLOGICAL METABOLISM
The natural processes of ecosystems are a biological metabolism, making safe and healthy use of materials in cycles of abundance.

 

BIOLOGICAL NUTRIENT 
A material used by living organisms or cells to carry on life processes such as growth, cell division, synthesis of carbohydrates and other complex functions. Biological Nutrients are materials that can biodegrade safely and return to the soil to feed environmental processes.

                                             

CRADLE TO GRAVE

A Cradle to Grave system is a linear model for materials that begins with resource extraction, moves to product manufacturing, and, ends with a “grave” – when the product is disposed of in a landfill or incinerator.

 

DESIGN CHEMISTRY 
The incorporation of scientific and ecological knowledge into product and process design.

 

DESIGN FOR DISASSEMBLY
Designing a product to be dismantled for easier maintenance, repair, recovery, and reuse of components and materials.

 

DOWNCYCLING
The practice of recycling a material in such a way that much of its inherent value is lost and cannot be recovered following its next use (for example, recycling plastic into park benches). It reveals poor design for life cycle and related material flows, as those materials continue their progression toward the landfill or incinerator over time.

 

ECO-EFFECTIVENESS
MBDC's strategy for designing a human industry that is safe, profitable and regenerative, producing economic, environmental and social value.

 

ECO-EFFICIENCY
The strategy for "sustainability" of minimizing harm to natural systems by reducing the amount of waste and pollution human activities generate.

 

ECOLOGICAL INTELLIGENCE 
A product or process designed to embody the intelligence of natural systems (such as nutrient cycling, interdependence, abundance, diversity, solar power, regeneration).

 

HYBRID PRODUCT

Mixtures of technical and/or biological nutrient materials that cannot be separated and recovered at a product’s end of life. Products that are monstrous hybrids typically cannot be upcycled or downcycled, but instead end up in landfills or incinerators.

 

MATERIAL

A group of one or more chemicals that together comprise a component or input to a finished product.

 

MATERIAL ASSESSMENT

The evaluation of a material based on the toxicity of the components and their routes of exposure from the material in question.

 

THE NEXT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
This emerging movement of production and commerce eliminates the concept of waste, uses energy from renewable sources, and celebrates cultural and biological diversity. The promise of the Next Industrial Revolution is a system of production that fulfills desires for economic and ecological abundance and social equity in both the short and long terms-becoming sustaining (not just sustainable) for all generations.

 

PRODUCT OF CONSUMPTION 
A product designed for safe and complete return to the environment, which becomes nutrients for living systems. The product of consumption design strategy allows products to offer effectiveness without the liability of materials that must be recycled or "managed" after use.

 

PRODUCT OF SERVICE 
A product that is used by the customer, formally or in effect, but owned by the manufacturer. The manufacturer maintains ownership of valuable material assets for continual reuse while the customer receives the service of the product without assuming its material liability. Products that can utilize valuable but potentially hazardous materials can be optimized as Products of Service.

 

RAPIDLY RENEWABLE

Similar to the LEED definition, this is a material considered to be an agricultural product, both fiber and animal, that takes 10 years or less to grow or raise, and to harvest in an ongoing and sustainable fashion.

 

RECYCLABLE

Able to be reused at a similar level of quality. For the sake of the Cradle to Cradle® Certification program, materials are considered “recyclable” if it is technically possible to recycle them and at least one commercial recycling facility exists.

 

TECHNICAL METABOLISM
Modeled on natural systems, the technical metabolism is MBDC's term for the processes of human industry that maintain and perpetually reuse valuable synthetic and mineral materials in closed loops.

 

TECHNICAL NUTRIENT 
A material that remains in a closed-loop system of manufacture, reuse, and recovery called the technical metabolism, maintaining its value through infinite product life cycles.

 

UPCYCLING

The practice of recycling a material in such a way that it retains its original high-quality in a closed-loop industrial cycle. This requires that materials can be fully separated and recovered at a product’s end of life.

 

WASTE EQUALS FOOD 
A principle of natural systems and MBDC that eliminates the concept of waste. In this design strategy, all materials are viewed as continuously valuable, circulating in closed loops of production, use, and recycling.

 

 

 
 

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