Cradle to Cradle Short Essay - Answer Key

William A. McDonough
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1. Name two common household objects and their hidden health effects because of the chemicals they contain.

Common household objects that have hidden toxic chemicals could include a printer where the dust from the printer toner is extremely toxic and a computer because when the computer becomes outdated, it will be thrown away and contribute its toxins to the environment.

2. Explain how recycling is really downcycling.

In recycling we are really just using materials in a way that they were not intended for and to do this, many chemicals and much energy must be used to process. This means that in the process of recycling we are losing energy and efficiency.

3. Describe why books are traditionally difficult to recycle and how this book itself is a more positive design.

Typically, books are difficult to recycle because their covers are made from different materials than their insides, making the whole harder to recycle. The inks used in printing books, even soy-based inks, are hard to remove. This particular book is made of an easily-recycled polymer and printed with nontoxic inks that easily wash off with nontoxic chemicals.

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