May 24, 2011

How about a ride on Dandelions?



I nearly picturized it. It must be beautiful. To drive a Car made from Dandelions! What a perfect timing to talk about this ubiquitious weed than these days of Spring. Dandelions here, Dandelions there and Dandelions everywhere. But who thought of putting them to better use than the mundane.

I have stepped on a few Dandelion heads. Not intentionally. But, by mistake. I have plucked the flowers. And played with my son; blowing the withering heads. But, never did I think about making a Car with them. May be, a bouquet of flowers at best. I am not an automobile manufacturer. Definitely not an automobile company feeling guilty about its Carbon footprint. Or trying to score brownie points with the larger masses. Or, to give them the benefit of doubt, a company genuinely trying to reduce its Carbon footprint.

Ford has been at it for awhile now. Delving deep into the Dandelion weeds to see if they qualify as plastic modifiers which can be employed in car manufacture. Have you ever stepped on a Dandelion root? Well, if you do, you will see a milky white substance similar to rubber which could be put to better use. Of course, it has to meet certain durability standards as well.

Sounds gimmicky? It did initially. But then I went on to read about their  soy foam seat cushions, wheat straw-filled plastic, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components!

As long as they are not taking away (some one's) food to create their cars, I feel enough reason to cheer about. That is some amount of change. On one side, they churn out gas guzzlers (we can talk enough about fuel efficiency, but, at the end of the day, gas guzzlers remain gas guzzlers. However, I do admit that compared to what kind of cars we had say 5 or 10 years ago, now they are a lot better in terms of their environmental impact.), but on the other side, they are trying to be sustainable.

Fear of new legislation may be the necessity to invent, but, at the end of the day, something is better than nothing. We all demand cars and better cars and the best in class. So, they exist. Why not change the very fundamentals of that existense?

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