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A green interior car with living plants

Image credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/319896379779608532/

Povilas S
Povilas S Jul 30, 2022
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A car company producing cars with green interior (living plants implemented into the car's interior) or only a novel model of an existing car make having the same feature.
  • Promote plant growing inside vehicles. Show that growing plants in a vehicle's interior is not as difficult as it may seem by mass-producing and selling such cars. Hopefully, this would get the ball rolling and it would become a novel green trend.
  • Aesthetics -most people like to experience a bit of nature wherever they are. This would make the car's interior more pleasing to the eye and cozier to be in.
  • Purify the air inside the car in addition to what the air filter does. Driving in urban areas one breathes in polluted air, the air filter doesn't help much, make plants supplement the air filter and produce fresh oxygen for you inside the car.
  • You could potentially grow useful plants in a car -spices, medicinal plants, and use them when far from home and urban areas (while camping somewhere, etc.) and lacking the knowledge to collect wild useful plants.
  • Attract customers by producing cars with a unique feature.
How it works:
The car producers should build the system to make growing plants in the car's interior easy. Here are some ideas on how to simplify it:
Cover the grown plants with transparent glass or plastic cover. This way the plants will be protected from passengers or things inside the car accidentally pressing or falling on plants and thus harming them as the car moves. Make the cover slide off with a press of a button, in case the person needs to access the plants.
Make a niche for plants near the bottom of each car's window. Arguably, the best place to settle the plants is at the bottom of each window (on car's "windowsills"). Dedicate a short segment of each window's height for plants, this way you wouldn't obstruct the view while at the same time providing plants with maximal light. For this to work, the grown plants should be very short, small succulents would be perfect. Taller plants could be grown in cars with bigger windows (vans, jeeps, etc.).
Here's what I imagine a car's plant niche to look like:
Stabilize the plants and their soil/hydroponic solution. Keep the soil or a hydroponic solution (in case it's a hydroponic growing) in which the plant is placed under another cover to prevent the solution spiling/soil moving as the car moves. Make holes in the cover only as thick as the stems of the plants. Place an additional, stabilizing material between the edge of the hole and the plant stem, like a rubber seal to keep the stem of the plant stable as the car moves.
If plants with slender stems would be grown, I think the best would be to choose species that are resistant to strong winds, this way they could resist the sudden movements of the car (acceleration, stopping, turning) easier.
Implement an automatic watering system. Use a dedicated water tank (hidden in the car's trunk or elsewhere) and a system of capillary tubes to deliver water to the plants automatically. If the capillary system is not enough use an automatic water pump to distribute water. Fertilizers could be diluted in water and distributed by the same system.
Use lamps to provide light for plants when there's a lack of daylight. During times when a car is parked in a garage or an underground parking lot the system could use lamps to provide plants with light. Assuming such cars were electric, the battery capacity would be enough to power the lights for rather long periods. The user could attach the car to a local charger to keep its battery full.
Additional things to note:
While doing research for this idea I found one unrealized car concept which had an "urban garden" implemented in the car's interior as a feature. However, my idea is about promoting general plant cultivation in vehicles by making the process convenient. Any plants should be used as long as it's convenient enough to grow them.
Creative contributions

One step further: scale up the idea

Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Aug 02, 2022
This sounds like a really useful idea. Even more than for cars, imagine the idea coming alive for larger vehicles like buses and trains. Especially for trains, it makes more sense. Not just for aesthetic plants and ornamental flowers, if indoor growing systems can be rightly designed, this can be immensely useful for trains. Herbs and vegetables like tomatoes can be grown in-house for use in restaurant kitchens. To take this even further, imagine composting the faecal waste and recycling it to maintain the train garden. In a way, this can effectively take the shape of a well-maintained self-sustaining system of food production. To make it economically feasible, passengers can be provided with an option to choose from the menu for food items prepared from the in-house grown plants.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
Yes, I thought about the same - larger public transportation vehicles would be most suitable for this and it could bring public benefits. Buses, trains and especially ships would be the best I think. I imagine composting system would be especially useful - people often eat on public transport and if they could dispose of the organic waste (like banana peels and even unfinished bits of fast food) in bins dedicated for composting and growing plants from that compost on board of the same vehicle it would be a great motivator for them to do this.
I'm not sure if passengers would like to eat plants grown from the fecal waste of other passengers, but composting could surely work. Especially if using smart, fast-composting systems similar to these.
I started the idea as a suggestion for car manufacturers because I think it might be easier to popularize it that way and show that it's feasible. Entrepreneurs with enough money could create a system for easy plant growing inside a rather small car, they would attract customers this way with a unique and beautiful feature, so it's likely it would be economically worthy for them to invest in. Things would get only easier from there (regarding larger vehicles).
Another type of vehicles this would be really popular in, are RVs - people who travel with/live in trailers or vans would love this and it would be practically useful for them. There's also enough space to grow larger/more plants there.
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Online store that sells car garden kits

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 18, 2022
Someone could create an online store that specializes in waterproof "car garden" moulds that fit seamlessly into specific cars. Then market those to specific car make/model owners. A nicer version of this:
Cars without a suitable space in the dashboard could have some addition glued to the window, etc. Some could have a mini vine trellis, etc.
Taking this one step futher, the mould/insert could have a compartment for reserve water and a miniature peristaltic pump. It would be powered by a battery that gets topped up while the car is on.
The way to start this idea is to build a prototype for your own car and then figure out a way to market it (tik-tok?) to the same brand/make car owners. See if people want it, then develop the project futher.
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Povilas S
Povilas S2 years ago
I think a big issue with this approach (as seen in the picture) would be soil and potentially whole plants falling out of their place and on someone's lap, car's floor, etc. as you suddenly stop it. Potentially while speeding and making sharp turns also. For soil, an agrotextile cover could do, but a bigger problem is fixing the plants in place, especially those that have weak roots (e.g. cactuses).
In the idea description, I proposed securing the plant's stem by putting it through a hole in the soil cover (it would have to be a hard cover, made from thick plastic or so, since a sharp edge could cut the stem while stopping, turning, etc.) and sealing the remaining gaps between the sides of the hole and plant's stem with rubber or similar material, so that the stem would have something to firmly lean on.
But if you made a soil cover from a thick, waterproof material and fixed the stems of the plants in it, then you'd have to find an alternative way to water the plants. Generally, there are many things to think about and realize to make this work well, so a DIY approach would not be an easy one, but once you made one it would perhaps be something worth selling. Your marketing approach sounds like it could work:)
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Furthermore.. the "car garden" inserts as depicted above would attract views from passersby. Make sure your brand name is unique and visible. That way people who really love the idea can look up your product.
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General comments

Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
This would be so cool. One could have an old car that's not worth stealing and no valuables in it. Then leave the windows open (with rain cover) all the time. That way heat wouldn't kill the plants when the car is parked in the sun. Winter would be more tricky because of the high temperature fluctuations (heating while driving, and freezing while the car is parked).
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Michaela D
Michaela D2 years ago
That's a good idea. I would add the weight consideration. The whole system would need to be as light as possible (the type of plants, soil, water, glass etc). The extra weight would mean more fuel. An extra 45kg on a car would reduce the miles per gallon (MPG) by 1%. This is almost negligible for one car but if we think in masses and years it is something. And this is an eco-friendly idea!
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković2 years ago
I like the idea and especially the mental image of a cactus flying off towards the driver's neck in case of a traffic accident. 😄 There's a car parked in Belgrade in front of a restaurant as a sign pretty much, with fake grass on its exterior and it doesn't look half bad. 2 That would be a cool feature for people wanting to stand out anyways. Might even provide some protection from low-intensity scratches.
Maybe there's even a way of making it real grass with some sort of a net on the soil, that would let the strains of grass pass, but not the earth. At least on the hood, or the roof.
A special irrigation system would be needed so as to not have the rain make it muddy on the windshield or lights. Yet, you would often have to put in the soil again.
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Shireesh Apte
Shireesh Apte2 years ago
Plants on autorickshaws (tuk-tuks) are a start.
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jnikola2 years ago
Heat - while being parked for hours in direct sunlight, the car interior can get extremely hot. Many plants would not be capable of surviving that conditions. Therefore, a cooling/venting mechanism should exist to prevent overheating. Maybe a simple opening of a window could work (but not too much to prevent car theft), although I'm sure we can think of a more sophisticated system. Solutions in this idea could also help.
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