Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Interview: Ford Bio Babes Making Sustainable Applications in Cars

Last week I was invited to meet with Ford's Bio Babes, Ellen Lee and Angela Harris. Conservation has always been something that I have been passionate about, so I was excited to learn what Ford is doing to help keep our air clean for my children when they get older.

Ford has developed a soy based foam for the head rests in their cars. More than 3 million Ford Motor Company vehicles on the road today contain soy foam. Ford's use of the soy foam has helped the company reduce its petroleum oil usage by more than 3 million pounds annually and its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 15 million pounds annually. Twenty three vehicle lines have soy foam sheets. The Ford Escape also has soy foam in the headliner construction.
A Ford seat made with soy foam

Ford is the first automaker to develop and use wheat straw reinforced plastic in its vehicles. The worlds-first application is on the third-row storage bins of the 2010 Ford Flex. It uses petroleum consumption by some 20,000 pounds annually and reduces CO2 emissions by 30,000 pounds per year.

Ford is working with a compostable plastic known as polylactide (PLA), derived completely from the sugars in corn, sugar beets, sugarcane, switch grass, or other plants. A plastic part made from PLA can fully compost after its life cycle in 90 to 120 days in an industrial compost facility versus more than 1,000 years for a traditional, petroleum-based plastic

I loved everything that I learned during this meeting. I got so excited and hope to get to visit their plant or have the opportunity to drive a car with soy seats one day. Hopefully one day soon I can swap out my gas guzzling car for a car that makes sense to the future of our environment. Our environment is too fragile to damage with Co2 and VOC output. We need to think about our children and making clean air for future generations a priority.

Ford is benefiting our environment by:

  • Reducing CO2 footprint and VOC's output
  • Providing less waste to the landfill
  • Utilizing water based stains in processing with no heavy metals
  • Conserving energy by eliminating extra processing steps
  • Utilizing wood from managed certified forest


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