Sarah Rich

TOYOTA'S POLLUTION-EATING SHRUB

by , 10/13/05
filed under: Botanical

While we’re on the subject of biotech, here’s a bit of interesting news from Japan. Toyota’s non-automotive division has developed a shrub related to the Cherry Sage that absorbs air pollution more effectively than related plant varieties. Creators say that the Kirsch Pink shrub is 1.3 times more effective at both absorbing harmful pollutants and reducing the urban “heat island effect,” which causes increased temperatures in cities due to infrastructure that deflects sunlight and heat.


Toyota says that the seemingly unrelated biotech and auto industries are actually standing on common ground in that “they are both aiming to achieve a sustainable society.” While this statement makes me groan, there are those that argue that the only ones who can get us out of our mess are the ones that got us here in the first place. If this is true, the auto industry is bound for heroism in the years to come. Selling flowers seems like a good way to start making some environmentally-minded friends.

via: Green Car Congress via The Japan Times Online

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5 Comments

  1. Ian Gordon April 7, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Whilst I agree Toyota is hardly an icon of environmental friendliness due to the fact that they are a car company they did come up with the Prius and they did create this plant.

    As an advocate of natural capitalism, which is the idea that you show business how to make more money out of copying nature’s aptitude at reducing waste to zero whilst at the same time producing plenty, the best thing to take away from this article is that Toyota have somewhat more of an open mind than say GM.

    Also when you consider that one of the ways of continuing to produce goods whilst reducing waste going into the environment is called the Toyota Production System, now called Lean Thinking in the West, I really don’t see Toyota in as bad a light as any of the big US firms or even the so called environmentally friendly Germans Porsche, Mercedes, Audi and BMW (all of them produce high performace cars but not in the way that helps future generations).

    They are one of the few car companies I would consider working for, behind Tesla Motors of course.

  2. ben doherty July 1, 2006 at 9:07 pm

    surely all plants ingest CO2 by virtue of them bwing plants. i can’t remember what the outcome of it was, but NASA were doign research into which plants did this most efectivly so tehy could be included as air purification aids on long (mars and beyond) voyages.

  3. Inhabitat » Blog ... June 23, 2006 at 4:50 am

    [...] Toyota’s inching its tentacles into just about every facet of future-forward living. The Prius, of course, has become a household term synonymous with hybrid transportation; then there was the pollution-eating flower; and now, believe it or not, Toyota’s hopped on the prefab housing train. [...]

  4. Ryan December 14, 2005 at 2:38 pm

    I’m curious. If there was even a hope this plant could start cleaning up pollution, why there are not millions of them scattered about the Los Angeles countryside.

    Using fossil fuels was a step. Cleaning it all up is a step. I am suprised genetic engineering has not come up with a plant to ingest CO.

  5. Gil Lopez October 31, 2005 at 3:17 pm

    Alright, this seems like a really great development at first but upon further evaluation I’ve come to this conclusion. Mass producing combustion engines and processing oil for petroleum products was a mistake and the environment is suffering from this mistake. Genetic engineering is another unnatural mistake that humans are bringing about, it is not the way to fix mistakes we have made in the past. We as a people have to get over ourselves and figure out a way to work with nature to solve our problems. The siple fact that nature can be expoited doesn’t make it the right thig to do!

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