Toyota Ideas for Good

I know I said my next post would be about my message for the 5IMDC, but I wanted to first examine a commercial I recently viewed. It relates to plastic, I promise!

Here’s the gist: Toyota asked us, keepers of the earth, to come up with ideas, using Toyota technology (Solar-Powered Ventilation System, Hybrid Synergy Drive, etc.) that would make our lives and world better. The concept is really quite fantastic and you’ve probably seen a few of these ideas on TV, in commercial form. This one has to do with solar panel technology:

Maybe you’re wondering why exactly I’m singling out this particular idea…solar power is fantastic, the Prius is a really cool car, and anything that helps victims of disasters is great, right?

First and foremost, I have no issue with this ad. I think this idea is fantastic, as are most things that involve Prius technology. What I have a problem with in this commercial is the last bit: the girl drives this Prius to the site of a disaster, with this solar-powered ventilated tent in the background…and starts pulling stacks of bottled water out of the car. I watched this with my roommate and she wondered, out loud, what other solutions exist to deliver fresh water to natural disaster victims.

This really made me think: people have come up with this great idea using Toyota technology, but they’ve focused on one big problem: natural disasters. All that bottled water in the trunk is adding to many other problems: pollution, waste of resources, social injustice, just to name a few. So what do we do about this? Disasters happen all the time and in most cases, people will need access to clean, safe drinking water. Is bottled water really the easiest and most efficient way to do this? Do we truck in large containers of water or start distributing Klean Kanteens to all victims?

To be completely honest, I’m a little baffled myself. Which is why I thought I’d poll you, the audience and generate some discussion. What do we do about issues such as this one? Are we supposed to take the good with the bad when it comes to things like natural disasters? Or could there be a way to cover all problems…how about solar-powered medical tents and access to clean water that doesn’t come from a plastic bottle!

Discuss. Share. Think! 🙂

Chris Jordan – “Running the Numbers”


One thought on “Toyota Ideas for Good

  1. In talking to my Dad about this subject, we came to a great conclusion:

    In times of crisis and disaster, sometimes the only option for getting water to people is via plastic water bottles.

    So, what if we ONLY distributed water bottles to people in need? I think that sounds like a solution.


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