Ever wondered where retired money went? The Ford Motor Co. has dibs on saving some of the 3.6 million pounds of U.S. dollars that are shredded each year.

To lower costs and petroleum dependency Ford is coming up with creative ideas including using retired money and soybeans. Ford is preparing to use shredded, retired currency to make plastic trays and bins. Already, Ford saves five million pounds in petroleum each year by is using soybeans in seats cushions, backs and head restraints.

"Now finding alternative sources for materials is becoming imperative as petroleum prices continue to rise and traditional, less sustainable materials become more expensive," said John Viera, Ford's global director of sustainability and vehicle environmental matters, in a company statement.

Building fuel economy cars are most important, said Carrie Majeske, Ford's product sustainability manager. "We recognize the use of sustainable materials inside our cars, utilities and trucks can also help reduce our environmental impact."

Email: ehong@desnews.com