With fuel prices now going over $4.00 a gallon, drivers are curbing their driving habits and considering vehicles that get better gas mileage. Personally, I've written about my fuel bill going over $600 a month just driving around town and doing basic errands. I was trying to avoid a car payment, but economically, it makes more sense to purchase a new vehicle than to continue fueling my paid SUV. Based on what I've seen, I'm likely going to go with the 5-Door Ford Focus. It's zippy and fun looking, very roomy inside, AND it gets 40 MPG. When I tell people this, they always want to talk me into another car from another company. To them, I always respond with the three reasons why I'm still going to go with a Ford.
A) They came out of a near financial collapse on their own (no bail out).
B) They offer more options than ONE "green" car (wow, choices!)
C) They have broader sustainability initiatives that go beyond fossil fuel consumption.
Today, I'm going to share a little of what I learned in Detroit about the final point.
Ford's Sustainable Materials Strategy
What Goes In
Using Recycled Materials (non-metal):
- Post-consumer plastics (i.e., water bottles) are made into underbody shields, battery trays, carpets, heater & air conditioner housing, fan shroud, bumpers, wheel arch liners, aire cleaner assembly, roof lining, instrument panel, sound proofing, insulation, and seat fabrics.
- Post-industrial yarns are made into seat fabrics.
- Post-consumer cotton from blue jeans are made into interior padding.
- Post-consumer nylon carpeting is made into reson for cylinder head covers.
- Soy-based polyurethane foams used for seat cushions, seatbacks, and headliners.
- Wheat straw and other plant fiber-reinforced plastic used for behicle storage bins and interior door panels.
- Engineering wood technology (recycled and renewable) used for interior trim.
- Sugars made from corn, beet, and cane being considered for biodegradable plastic parts.
What Comes Out
About 85% of the materials used on Ford vehicles by weight are recyclable, and about 95% of all vehicles retired from use each year are processed for recycling.
There's more to what Ford is doing. Back in 2003, they received the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Award for the Rouge Factory. They have the clean water programs at their international factories, leaving behind more clean water than when they started through reverse osmosis. And they're also looking into ways to utilize the remaining power in recycled batteries.
It's exciting to see a company not only come back from hardship, but to also become a great example of how to do things right. And THAT is why I'm buying a Ford.
As a guest of Ford this past January, I was treated not only to the latest information about Ford's green initiatives at their facilities, I also got to test drive their cars in the snow, drink with a bunch of bloggers and a blow-up executive, and enjoyed the North American International Auto Showwhere auto makers from all over the world displayed their newest vehicles. It was an amazing experience to see all those gorgeous machines.
I'm still going with Ford. :)