Recycling is the reclaiming of old materials and turning them into new products, with the aim of preventing the waste of potentially useful resources, reducing the consumption of fresh raw materials, reducing energy usage, reducing air and water pollution by decreasing the need for the dumping of waste.
The cradle to grave model is the consumption of fresh raw materials, using and depleting the environments resources to produce a new product, this product may or may not be recycled but it will eventually become landfill at the end of its lifespan, as general recycling usually loses quality down the line and eventually becomes waste thus polluting our environment. Cradle to the grave also continues to use raw resources as it has not been able to eliminate the need for them.
Cradle to cradle is highly innovative as it leaps to a level way beyond simple recycling, if the methodology of it is used we will produce no waste, resources will be plentiful because they come full circle and continue on going round and round becoming renewable and biodegradable, waste will no longer be, and therefore the earth and all its communities will prosper. Eco-effectiveness seeks to design industrial systems that emulate the healthy abundance of nature. The central design principle of eco-effectiveness is waste equals food.
The cradle to cradle model is producing and down cycling products so that that they become biodegradable without harmful chemicals. Down cycled can be recycled to the same level of quality, therefore the resources are not harming the earth and its inhabitants as it does not lose its quality and can be continually recycled thus eliminating waste.
Richard Wool at the University of Delaware created chicken feather and soy compound circuit boards. Not only do they replace the ‘cradle to grave’, non-recyclable, energy-intensive fiberglass and epoxy materials, they are "a lighter, stronger, cheaper product with high-speed electronic properties." This is especially relevant because the circuit board often has the highest environmental impact of any part in a computer or other consumer electronics device-more than the plastic case, and sometimes more than the electronic components on the board. The chicken feather and soy compound could also be used as a structural material for other applications.