Yes, you read that right. Toyota, apparently concerned by the lack of horticulture in the auto industry, has developed two flower species to offset the pollution from the Prius factory in Japan. One plant, derived from the cherry sage, has leaves that absorb nitrogen oxides. The other is a gardenia that produces water vapor, lowering the temperature of the factory’s surroundings and reducing the power needed to cool the factory.
This creative PR stunt is part of Toyota’s efforts to reduce the Prius plants carbon emissions. Since 1990, they’ve cut the emissions by 55 percent by using roof-mounted solar panels, photocatalytic paint on exterior walls, reflective solar tubes that provide interior light and even slow-growing grass that needs less mowing. This is all smart, since Toyota has been criticized for carbon-intensive Prius production.
No word on whether the new Prius comes with Toyota flower seeds.