Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cereal Cars?

Got any flax in your car? How about soy? Sugar cane? Corn? Nope, I'm not asking if you've been to you nearest organic-foods store. Actually, some major vehicle manufacturers are substituting bio-based products like flax, abaca fibers, and soy-based foams to make the fabric and seat cushions in cars - reducing dependence on petroleum-based products and (hopefully) lowering the carbon emissions required to make the bits and pieces that go into your vehicle.

Toyota, Honda, and (I'm a little weirded out by this, but hey, willing to applaud) Ford are the leaders in making sustainable and healthy changes to some of their cars. In addition to adding stuff that sounds like it belongs in a health nut's cereal to their seat cushions, they are also trying to reduce the amount of plastic and PVC (polyvinyl chloride, a nasty chemical that's notoriously difficult to recycle) they use. This should also reduce the off-gassing of unhealthy chemicals into cars. Chemicals that trigger allergies or cause ong-term health effects. (Uh, yeah. So. That new-car smell? Not exactly good for you.)

Despite these moves, an Ecology Centre Report still only gives out a top grade of C+ (to Toyota). Clearly, there's lots more to be done.

Bring on the granola!

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