As part of their “zero landfill waste” initiative, General Motors is going to the birds.
This baby bird home was once a Chevy Volt battery.
For years, discarded car parts—particularly batteries—have sat rotting in crowded landfills worldwide, the unfortunate byproduct of our car-obsessed culture. Now, as part of GM’s landfill-free program, the company is pushing to end this senseless waste with an initiative to push for total recycling of parts. The beneficiaries of this project, other than all future generations of the human race, are none other than our fine, feathered friends. Recently, the endangered East Asian mohawked duck, or merganser, received a new habitat in the form of “nesting boxes” made from recycled Chevy Volt battery covers. This isn’t the first time GM has been a friend to winged creatures. In the past they have set up over 700 upcycled nesting boxes on private and public land to provide shelter for bats, wood duck, and bluebirds.
One of the first proponents of the project, GM’s Manager of Waste Reduction and “resident MacGuyver” John Bradburn, was inspired by his own personal experiences with nature. “I grew up enjoying waterfowl and built many nest boxes in my youth,” he recently mentioned on GM’s website. “Once I saw the Chevy Volt battery cover in our plant, I knew it would make a good nest box. To test the idea five years ago, I built a prototype and within two weeks, I had a hen hooded merganser nesting in it.”
How each nesting box goes from trash to treasured bird-haven.
The boxes have each been customized to allow the ducks to dodge local prey, and act as a comfortable (and durable) alternative to organic nests.
“If we do not take action to protect this species and their habitats, they will disappear in the next five to 10 years,” warns Peiqi Liu, manager of WWF China’s Flyway program.