cradle-to-cradle
n. A product life cycle that encompasses not only the design, manufacture, and useful life of the product, but also the recycling of the product into something new. [cf. cradle-to-grave]

Example Citations:
This Design for Environment Laboratory is a public-private partnership between industry and government. It focuses on the development of products, processes and systems that help close materials and energy loops in the automotive and construction industries — two of the largest sectors of the global economy. Products no longer go from ‘cradle-to-grave’, but are cycled back into the economy — ‘cradle-to-cradle’.
—Steven W. Peck, Robert B. Gibson, “Pushing the Revolution,” Alternatives Journal, January 1, 2000

Were human communities to deploy all of the ecotechnologies that are already available from innovative business (such as energy efficiency, pollution controls, waste management, recycling, cradle-to-cradle products, and zero-emissions industry), we could enjoy twice as much material welfare while consuming only half as many natural resources and causing only half as much pollution and waste.
—Norman Myers, “Sustainable Consumption,” Science, March 31, 2000

Earliest Citation:
Manufacturers must consider the environmental impact of their products, not only from cradle to grave, but from cradle to cradle.
—“Wrapping excess,” The Globe and Mail (Canada), November 19, 1987

Related Words:

Categories: