Source: ChaCha Winners of HP and DoSomething.org's Green Your School Challenge were announced today, and the talented winning students will each receive some great prizes for using technology to generate awareness of energy conservation and make a positive impact on the environment. Which Schools Won and What Were the Prizes? The Prizes are being awarded to Chapel Hill High School in NC, Durand Middle School in Michigan, the University of Central Florida, City Academy in Utah, and the Grand Prize goes to Millburn Sr. High School in NJ.
Weed ’Em and Reap: Ford, Ohio State Look to Put Dandelion Roots to Use in Cupholders, Floor Mats and Interior Trim
When homeowners see dandelions sprouting, they start thinking of ways to get rid of the weed, but researchers at Ford and The Ohio State University see a plant that can serve as a new sustainable resource for rubber. “We’re always looking for new sustainable materials to use in our vehicles that have a smaller carbon footprint to produce and can be grown locally,” said Angela Harris, Ford research engineer. “Synthetic rubber is not a sustainable resource, so we want to minimise its use in our vehicles when possible. Dandelions have the potential to serve as a great natural alternative to synthetic rubber in our products.” Not all dandelions are created equal, meaning not all can be used as a sustainable resource for rubber. The suitable species for this project is the Russian dandelion, Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TKS), which is being grown at The Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). A milky-white substance that seeps from the roots of this species of dandelion is used to produce the rubber.