Cradle to Cradle

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

February 12, 2008

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Categories: The Balancing Act

G.M. Reports Quarterly Loss of $722 Million. This was the headline of the NY Times as I checked the headlines this morning. The article goes on to explain that it’s $1.28 a share and compared with the $950 million profit or $1.68 a share from the same period last year. That’s a difference of $1.672 billion dollars. Peter keeps saying, you just watch, G.M. will close all its U.S. plants and head to Mexico (or whatever 3rd World Country wins the next smokestacking bid).

Why can’t they utilize, though, something more inclusive in their planning? Why do we have to stay stuck in the same pattern? Wasn’t it Einstein who said, “Insane is defined as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” Let’s change our practice from Cradle to Grave to Cradle to Cradle.

With Cradle to Cradle a company would be responsible for their creation for the entire lifecycle. This would put the burden of disposal on the producer. If the producer is forced to care for their product, they would have a resource to build new products without mining for many new raw materials. They would create jobs within their sector for properly servicing their product and it would be in their best interest to create quality products.

So, what do you all think would happen if G.M. decided because of this what seems to me a huge loss, that they would take this information, learn from it and decide we need to do something differently. Let’s take up the Cradle to Cradle philosophy and build quality cars that people could drive for 50 years, we’ll truly service them, and we will use the old cars for new cars. Then, we could be more Green than Honda or Toyota could dream of. Or would people pooh-pooh it, and when the economy has an upswing, they’ll be fried again? Can it happen? In our lifetime? Our grandfather’s fought for those union jobs, and now they are disappearing.

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