Sure, you probably know Ford makes hybrid and electric cars, which they’re trying to make less expensive to charge. (A tip for now: If you’re charging your car at home, you can program your charger to do its thing during your electric company’s cheapie, off-peak hours.) But get this: Eighty-five percent of the components in all Ford vehicles are recyclable.
Much of the plastic used in Fords, for example, is now made from sustainable materials, not petroleum. The Ford Fusion is manufactured with recycled denim, too. In fact, there are two pairs of recycled denim—scraps from manufacturers and actual, used jeans--in every Fusion—denim that would otherwise end up in landfills. The jeans provide padding inside the doors and backing for the car’s carpet. That’s one of the most surprising things I learned at a consumer trends conference I recently attended at the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Mich.—how much of a green leader Ford is trying to be.
But what was even more interesting was Ford’s take on what’s happening with cars—that America is becoming less of a car culture. Down the road, they say we’ll be buying fewer cars because, for one thing, our monthly cellphone bills are competing for our car-payment dollars. (I hear ya!)
Millenials—those born between 1976 and 2003--are setting the course. They’re delaying getting their driver’s licenses and sharing cars on colleges campuses, for example, instead of getting their own set of wheels. Millenials are moving to cities too, and Boomers are moving back from the ‘burbs.
Cities are where more jobs opps are as well as other perks, such as culture and “connections.” And a home’s walking score—how doable it is to walk from your home to other places, such as the supermarket and the post office—is starting to really matter. In fact, “Homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home with a higher walking score, which translates into, ‘Is this going to be a vibrant place to live?’ ” says Carol Coletta, an urban expert and leader of ArtPlace, a collaboration of the nation’s top foundations, leading banks, federal agencies and the National Endowment for the Arts. (You can check a home’s walking score at www.walkscore.com).
All told, the closer proximity means we’ll be footing it more and driving less, if at all for some of us. I’m already walking and biking to the store whenever I can (even though my home’s walking score isn’t great, walking and biking are still doable).
What do you think? Will you be ditching your car in the future? Could you imagine ditching your regular car for say, a Zip car?