Michael Braungart and William McDonough called them “horrible hybrids” in their 2002 book “Crade to Cradle”. Things that are fused together from different materials that cannot be separated and thus not recycled.

Those wind turbine blades features in Bloomberg Green’s article are a prime and sad example. Trying to make a good and durable product, we totally forgot about the end-of-life scenario. Unfortunately there is only one: Bury it. I can only assume that there would be another one, too: Burning – thermal “recycling”, even though I very much dislike the term “thermal recycling”. They cannot even be downcycled.

Downcycling is the recycling of a material into a material of lesser quality. The terms downcycle and downcycling were first used by Reiner Pilz of Pilz GmbH and Thornton Kay of Salvo Llp in 1993, along with the terms upcycle and upcycling. Almost a decade later, this term was popularized by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their 2002 book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.

Half a decade later, in 2007, I picked up William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s book and found it extremely insightful and I first appreciated some very basic design considerations. Those considerations do not only apply to product design, but also to architecture and buildings – after all a building is typically a large scale, prototype product (for which the architect carries a 10 year warranty – which is another matter ).

And yet again more than a decade later, we are still building those horrible hybrids.

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Pieces of salada crisp bread, broken up and stacked up

SALADA

I have been a scout leader for more than a decade now and one of the things we learnt and what we try and teach the kids is SALADA. This is an acronym for “Stop Assess Listen Allocate Do Assess again”. It is also symbolised by a piece of the brand salada crisp bread that you try and stuff into your mouth in one big piece – which does hardly work – without pain that is. So the lesson from this is also that you need to break it down into chunks to eat it. Just like you have to break down your task into manageable chunks to do them. This aligns with the “Allocate” in SALADA, ie break it up and give your team members jobs.

COP26 – Just another talk? Up to you!

It’s that time of the year again – ground hog day – another global leader meeting to tackle climate change. Or to talk about tackling climate change.
Do whatever you can – at home or work, in your job, in your projects.
It’s up to you, not anyone else.

Horrible Hybrids – A reminder

Michael Braungart and William McDonough called them “horrible hybrids” in their 2002 book “Crade to Cradle”. Things that are fused together from different materials that cannot be separated and thus not recycled.

Soybeans in a supermarket in China

What to eat those days?

Being married to a vegetarian and not cooking extra at home, the family tend to eat vegetarian – with lots of soy products. So this post is more of a collection of thoughts around soy products. And yet again there’s confusing information out there. The general perception is that soy is good for you: Non-animal, vegan, high in protein, etc.

But then you do a bit of research and googling and find quite contradicting information as well.

Kiwibuilds 100,000 homes progress

The average build numbers according to my article published in 2018 would have been ~30,000 homes by now. The actual stats are somewhat lower than that: 934 – yes: 934. Even if we would say that starting up is hard and the initial output would have been lower, would we maybe not have expected 20,000 homes? But we got 934.

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