10 Weird Things in Your Car

5.
Wood Fibers

The electric Ford Focus (not yet on sale) will have Lignotock behind the cloth on the door. It’s a material gleaned from 85 percent wood fibers, which result in a reduction in weight (memo to self: incorporate Lignotock into diet) and it offers sound-deadening properties as well.

4.
Waste Material

The new Jeep Grand Cherokee is the first vehicle in the industry to use recovered foam waste material for seating material. By rescuing foam from other sources headed for the landfill and chemically decomposing it, this Jeep found an environmentally sensitive way to manufacture foam used for the seat frames, seat covers such as leather, and headrests. Maybe those scented skunks aren’t such a bad idea.

3.
Cardboard

GM is big on reusing waste. Case in point, last year its zero landfill sites recycled 21,600 tons of cardboard. The Buick LaCrosse and Verano are examples of recipients of this process — the backing of the headliner has a substrate fabricated supporting material made from recycled cardboard shipping containers that arrived at the automaker’s stamping plants. This acts as a sound absorber to assist in making the interior quieter and to improve acoustics.

2.
Carpet

EcoLon is a nylon made from recycled carpet; grind it up into fiber and add a secret sauce/step, and you’ve got a nylon resin which Ford uses on the cylinder-head covers of some of its engines. In 2010, EcoLon material saved more than 4.1 million pounds of carpet from heading to landfills (Ford says that’s equal to about 154 football fields). Wow!

1.
Denim

That’s right, recycled denim jeans. The Ford Focus has cotton from this recycled clothing in places like the carpet backing and as interior sound-absorbing material. Used denim is also part of the Buick Verano’s sound-insulation material between the rear-body structural components. So even if you can’t fit into your old jeans anymore, it’s nice to know that Ford can still give them a work-out.

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