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The past year and a half has changed the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some organizations developed partnerships to raise money for pandemic relief while others have scrambled to find ways to resolve economic concerns.
Money woes due to shifts in the tourism industry caused one taxi company in Thailand to get creative with how it uses idle cars. According to Autoblog, they’ve started turning them into makeshift vegetable gardens.
How do the vegetable gardens work?
Some outstanding loans taken out by Ratchaphruek Taxi Cooperative in Bangkok, Thailand, have exceeded $20,000 after only a couple years. To make back that money, they needed to figure out a way to recoup some of those funds.
So, the fleet of mostly newer vehicles became a fleet of individual vegetable gardens, created using simple tarps and bamboo wood frames. The company hopes these vegetables will help pay for their loans and pad their income.
The employees placed modular frames on top of either the vehicles’ roofs or hoods and filled them with dirt and plants. The cars are parked close together, with green vegetables sprouting from their rooftop pallets. Every employee contributed to the cost of starting the garden, as the price for buying crops is relatively small.
With the garden, the company made use of a bad situation to come up with a green solution.
The pandemic forced many taxi drivers to leave the big city
Amidst lockdowns and social distancing in Thailand, many drivers who worked in Bangkok had to return home to their villages to look for work.
As a result, many vehicle fleets from formerly thriving taxi businesses were left idle and parked in lots.
Even though some places have lifted restrictions to a certain extent, the economic recovery, especially for the tourism industry, has been slow.
In addition, spikes in COVID-19 cases caused Bangkok to close itself to tourism and related industries again this summer. Reopening tourism last month still brought much uncertainty and worries of more future lockdowns.
How will the gardens benefit the company?
Many of the idle cars are late model Toyota sedans like the Camry. The company grows a variety of thriving crops, including zucchini, eggplant, and chili peppers.
Besides the vegetables, some cars also have tarps spread over them with old tires on top. The staff then fills the old tires with water to be aquariums for frogs to propagate and grow.
The benefits of the vegetable garden are twofold. First, drivers can take home crops to feed their families. Eventually, the taxi staff hopes to have local food markets purchase the vegetables and frogs. This will help the taxi company and its employees-turned-gardeners generate needed income.
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