Inspiration of the Month – Cradle to Cradle

This post is coming to you quite late, not because I didn’t know what I wanted to write about, I actually have been inspired by this book for a while now, but I found it quite hard to summarise everything that I found interesting in the book!

Inspiration of the Month - Cradle to Cradle - byLiiL

Cradle to Cradle is a design philosophy as well as a book which I am basing my inspiration on. The book was written by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. It is a small book, only 186 pages, but it offers an immense amount of inspiration especially for design practitioners as well as consumers who want to be more sustainable and mindful of their lifestyle. It helps you understand what are the problems in the current design methods, what is being done about them and offers ideas what could be the better way to design.

In this book, I found that the main principle that McDonough and Braungart were saying is that almost all our products have been designed wrong as they end up being a waste and littering our planet and that we should learn from nature. In product design the common thing to think about is what is the product the consumers want or need, how can it be produced as economically as possible, so that the company can win the big profits from the product sales. It is completely ignoring the afterlife of the product or its ingredients where valuable ingredients often end up to the landfills or being downcycled, as the ingredients were not designed to be retrieved at the end of the products useful life. For example, we think that recycling is an amazing way of being sustainable. We might not realise that actually it is just being a bit less bad and trying to find an alternative to the landfills. Big amount of the waste is incinerated which can cause toxic dioxides. The rest are recycled, but as our products haven’t been designed so that the ingredients with which the products were made with could be retrieved, but they rather are mixed with chemicals or other ingredients that reduce the value and usability of the ingredient.

Inspiration of the Month - Cradle to Cradle - byLiiL

Instead companies could be taking example out of nature of how to make their products profitable, good for the environment and the human beings, that could improve human life, be economical not only with making the product but potentially for the human who uses it, for the government or for the same company once again when they receive their ingredients and can build more products out of it again. The products could be designed with the whole lifecycle in mind rather than just the most useful one.

 

“We need to see the world as what we can learn from it, not as what we can take from it”

 

Many times while reading the book I felt that the whole humankind is doomed as it has designed everything wrong and how companies are still using toxic ingredients in various products that can be harmful to humans, how companies are eroding soil and destroying ecosystems only to find new materials for their products and get their profits. But the solutions the book offers are clever and doable if only enough people would go the extra mile. It offers various long-haul plans that would end up being economical to the company, the economy and the people as well if companies thought about their products as more than profit.

Inspiration of the Month - Cradle to Cradle - byLiiL

Another important point raised in the book was how everything is designed for everybody without understanding that everybody and every place has different needs. I read several lovely and maybe slightly disgusting stories about how people in rural areas used to get rid of their waste or use various things to their advantage whilst keeping their ecosystems thriving until the modern technology and infrastructure was introduced and their ecosystems paid for it. Whilst upgrading and improving areas we should think about ways how it can be done to support humans as well as the ecosystem in which it is done. So there wasn’t bare pieces of land where nothing grows anymore because of pesticides or a wrong way of doing agriculture for that area. Companies should be more respectful of the knowledge local people have of their ecosystems!

 

“What would have happened, we sometimes wonder, if the industrial revolution had taken place in societies that emphasize the community over the individual, and where people believed not in cradle-to-grave life cycle but in reincarnation?”

 

We often forget what effect our actions can do, but on this planet, every action can affect multiple things from other people to other organisms, to the ecosystems, so we should strive to make better choices and be less selfish about them. I got really inspired by this book and still while reading it started to be more mindful about the products that I am using or buying and what I should be looking at instead. Sometimes there is no best option and we just have to work with the “least bad” whilst letting our actions speak for themselves. I do hope there will be more designers who are adopting this design philosophy. I can see how the world could be a much more beautiful and healthy place.

 

“Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. Negligence is described as doing the same thing over and over again even though you know it is dangerous or wrong.”

 

Inspiration of the Month - Cradle to Cradle - byLiiL

Here you can see just how much I was inspired by the book. All the folded pages are something that I want to keep coming back to!

Have you read Cradle to cradle?

With love,

Lii

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TED Talks About Sustainability

Here are some Ted talks to inspire, inform and think about sustainability, fashion and environment.

How Pollution Is Changing The Ocean’s Chemistry – Explaining one part of climate change.

Truly Sustainable Economic Development – This one is not so much about environmental sustainability, but does have an interesting way of thinking that can be applied to sustainability and environmentalism through entrepreneurship. Ernesto Sirolli is funny, but so on point and has great insight!

TED Talks About Sustainability - byLiiL

Why I Don’t Care About ‘Climate Change’ – David Saddington explains why people are not taking climate change so seriously, as they do not see the effect on themselves.

Our Relationship To Fast Fashion – This is only a short piece done by a young girl, who question whether ignorance is a bliss and the western culture.

 

Have you seen any additional sustainable Ted talks? Share them in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

 

 

Sustainable News of the Month – July 2017

Sea Shells For Sale: A New Source Of Sustainable Biomaterials – Discarded molluscs are a big waste that could potentially be turned into a circular economy.

Remote Sensing Technologies Key To The Future Of The Oil Palm Industry – We know that the oil palm industry can be very harmful to our environment and animals, but it is also a very productive crop meaning companies will want to harvest it. This article discusses the possibilities of making it more sustainable.

Sustainable News of the Month - July 2017 - byLiiL

Biodegradable Cleaning Products And Eco-Friendly Plastics From Mushroom Waste – Each week more than 50,000 tonnes of mushroom waste is generated in Europe alone. How great it will be if this can be generated into something else?

Sourcemap, Provenance Harness Supply Chain Mapping, Blockchain Tech to Power Robust Traceability Platform – Traceability for brands and customers.

Meet the Company Refusing to Accept When a Lithium Ion Battery Is ‘Dead’ – Different solutions for Lithium Ion batteries to reduce wastage.

Sustainable News of the Month - July 2017 - byLiiL

Target, Stella McCartney Strike Up New Partnerships to Drive Sustainable Textile Solutions – Research into sustainable cotton production.

British Retailer Tesco To Detoxify Clothing – How Tesco is joining other brands at aiming to remove toxic chemicals from their clothing supply chain.

The Next Step In Sustainable Design: Bringing The Weather Indoors – How nature and weather affect our mood and mental health, and the way design can support it.

 

Have you read any interesting sustainable news lately? Share them in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

What Have I Been Up To In May

The end of May was a beautiful time in the UK with the amazing sunshine and the heatwave, and I enjoyed it to my fullest, but more of it in the upcoming Happy Favourites of the Week post. During May I’ve been trying to plan and look for the summer, but somehow the summer bucket list seems to be hard to compile and half of what I managed to add to it was accomplished during the beautiful days in May; drink Pimms cocktail, sunbathe in the botanical gardens, spend time on a terrace. The rest are concentrated on travelling and working, as well as reading few more books and having a picnic. I hope I will be bitten by the summer inspiration bug in June! What summer did inspire me to do though was write about Finland as a tourist destination and some tips to be touristy in a sustainable way.

Happy Favourites of the Week - New Found Motivation - byLiiL

This month I was excited about several sustainable brands like Mirabelle Jewellery and Boodle boutique. What especially caught my eye was the Kickstarter campaign by OneSqin, which you should definitely check out as well!

Introducing Mirabelle - Jewellery with Meaning - byLiiL

I got on a story mood in one of my happy favourites of the week and in another, I told about my Finland trip and my beautiful new dishes! I shared my favourite April pictures from Instagram, and there were quite a few of them. I shared some videos for feminists and about feminism, which I was inspired by.

Happy Favourites of the Week - The Happy Day - byLiiL

By the end of the month, we were shocked by the brutality in Manchester which made me think and then inspired me to share some articles that inspired hope. Sometimes even the terrible things can inspire you to do something, and I guess it is exactly the horrible things that inspire the change in our world. What do you think? Finally, I ended the month with hopes of inspiring people to really embrace their power to choose how they behave and how the purchase things.

Now I wish June will be full of adventures for me and in addition to hard work I wish to relax a lot! How was your May?

With love,

Lii

9 Free courses for Sustainability

Many of us wish we knew more about sustainability, ethics and how to protect our planet, but with contradictory information, it can be difficult to know what we should do. I compiled here a number of free online courses, as you know how much I love them, which you can take to learn more about sustainability. Choose the one you like!

9 Free Online Courses about Sustainability - byLiiL

  • Sustainability, Society and You – Join us for an introduction to the major global issue of sustainability and discover how you can have a real impact on our future.
  • Introduction to Sustainability – This course introduces the academic approach of Sustainability and explores how today’s human societies can endure in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation and resource limitations.
  • Making Sense of Climate Science Denial – Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial.
  • The Science and Practice of Sustainable Development – Learn the science and policies that drive sustainable development and how leaders can work to achieve UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Food Security and Sustainability – Learn how to apply systems thinking to improve the environmental sustainability of food production systems.
  • Circular Economy: An Introduction – Learn how to contribute to a sustainable economic system by implementing novel business and design approaches. Concentrated on design.
  • Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation – We will debunk common assumptions around what resources are needed to begin acting as a social innovator.
  • The Age of Sustainable Development – Gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.
  • The Meat We Eat – The Meat We Eat is a course designed to create a more informed consumer about the quality, safety, healthfulness and sustainability of muscle foods and address current issues in animal agriculture in developed and developing countries.

 

Do you like takin free online courses?

With love,

Lii