Nutmobile Travels to Green Spaces


Nutty billboard-on-wheels with recycled vinyl signage hits road on environmental mission. Photo by RCruger

The goofy looking Nutmobile is headed to New Orleans on a 16-city tour through summer to show off its green features, including a wind turbine, solar panels and reclaimed wood floors from a 19th century Pennsylvania barn. It will house Mr. Peanut, who can pop his top-hatted head out the hatch to promote the company's nut snacks, of course, as well as Planters Groves, an initiative to transform unused urban land into public green spaces with native landscaping that launches in four cities. The biodiesel fueled truck, which debuted at the Global Green Oscar party last week, also boasts recycled window frames from Ford vehicles and a recycled glass windshield. Energy captured by the turbine and solar drives an alternator that recharges batteries for the LED lighting.

This vehicle runs on up to 20 percent biodiesel fuel for a return of 10 to 15 miles per gallon, according to the builder Turtle Transit -- an improvement over Planters' last vehicle which was souped-up to sponsor NASCAR. Though it might be expected that the Nutmobile's Naturally Remarkable tour would be peanut-powered biodiesel, the edible item and its oil is more valuable as food. According to AutoblogGreen, peanuts efficiently yield 123 gallons of biodiesel compared to soy's 50 gallons on the same land mass. But the University of Georgia is researching a non-edible variety--hopefully not a GMO nut.


Birds-eye view of peanut-shaped design of Planters Groves.
Planters Groves, designed by landscape architect Ken Smith (NYC's Museum of Modern Art's rooftop sculpture garden), will be peanut-shaped public parks using locally reclaimed materials, native trees and "plants from the legume family." First stop, Central City in the Crescent City, where the park will include horticultural features, a rain water installation and peanut-themed art.

The designs incorporate local feedback and also consider the geography and climate of Washington DC, New York City and San Francisco where the next parks will pop up. Planters' is building the parks in partnership with conservationist organization The Corps Network who are enrolling volunteers for service, job training and education.

While these new public green spaces will showcase sustainable landscaping and development of neglected urban spaces in pocket parks - or rather peanut parks -- no doubt, those with nut allergies may be raising concerns.

More on urban green spaces:
10 Urban Spaces Around the World Reborn as Vibrant Green Parks
Clever Mobile Gardens for City with Too Little Green
Turning Gas Stations Into Green Spaces in Indonesia
Parking Lots to Parks: Designing Livable Cities

Tags: Alternative Energy | Biodiesel | New Orleans | Urban Life

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