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Ford announced the launch of a new campaign encouraging people to adopt a lifestyle devoted to environmental sustainability. The program includes a national electric vehicle education program, a multi-city tour, and finally the debut of a 10-film short documentary series.
Ford’s documentary series, The Big SHFT: 10 Innovators Changing Our World, goes beyond the automotive sector to put emphasis on people creating sustainable businesses to affect positive change around the world. The short film series will feature game-changing eco-entrepreneurs that have brought innovation in sustainability for areas ranging from food and fashion to urbanization, technology and design.
With high oil prices upon us once again, automakers are looking to new sources of materials when it comes to vehicle component manufacture.
In Ford‘s case, we’ve seen developments like soybeans used in seat covers, recycled denim jeans for sound deadening, even wheat straw for plastic bins and Kenaf (a tropical, cotton derived plant) used for interior door panels.
You read that correctly. Ford Motor Company, in conjunction with Ohio State University is looking at ways dandelions can be used to produce sustainable rubber and plastic parts for automotive applications, such as floormats, cupholders and other interior trim pieces.
In fact, a particular species of Dandelion, called Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TKS) which originates in Russia, is deemed the most suitable, due to a white, milky substance that seeps from its roots that forms the basis for a natural rubber material.
Currently, Ohio State’s Agricultural Research and Development Center is growing TKS (along with a US southwestern shrub called gauyule) as a source for natural rubber , but before the end product resulting from it can be used in automotive applications, Ford will assess the initial quality of the rubber to ensure it’s viable enough to meet required durability standards.
If it does, then don’t be surprised to see it popping up more frequently in interiors – how about a green cup holder to go with that green tea?