Friday, April 13, 2012

Two Birds, One Stone

For the last several years, SE2 has worked with the Clear the Air Foundation and the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association to develop installations and displays at the annual Denver Auto Show. Drawing tens of thousands of people over five days, the annual show at the Colorado Convention Center is a great opportunity to capture the attention of car enthusiasts and the general public alike.
This year we used the exhibit space to launch an exciting initiative for the Clear the Air Foundation. Called “Trees for Trade-Ins,” the program uses a one-two punch to address separate but equally disconcerting problems facing our state; air pollution caused by old, high-polluting cars and the damage to trees caused by natural disasters like pine beetle and wild fires. Both issues are particularly evident if you live on the Front Range like I do.
An idea that’s been a year in the making, “Trees For Trade-Ins” is the first program of its kind in the United States. It partners Clear the Air with the Colorado Tree Coalition’s ReForest Colorado initiative. In a nutshell, it offers those people willing to recycle their dirty, old beaters both the usual tax incentive and an added bonus: For a limited time, the Clear the Air Foundation will contribute to ReForest Colorado the cost of one tree per car donated by consumers (up to 250 cars). The new trees not only help to replace those wiped out by beetles, fires and other hazards, but also help to achieve the Foundation’s mission of improving air quality.

We are excited to report that “Trees for Trade-Ins” not only grabbed the attention of the Auto Show patrons, but also a variety of press outlets in Colorado and beyond. Check out some of our media coverage:
Overall, I learned a few interesting facts in the process of launching this project:
  • Fewer than 5% of cars on the road (the old, high-emitting ones) cause HALF of the pollution we breathe every day. (Gross.)
  • 3.3 million acres of Colorado forest have been infested by pine beetle. (Sad.)
  • And nearly 90% of a car is recyclable. (Whoa!)
The bottom line is a program that uses car recycling to address a couple of major issues facing Colorado is certainly a win-win. I know I’m breathing a little easier.

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