First-Ever 'Trees For Clunkers' Program Debuts in Colorado

eutrophication&hypoxia via Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Remember the Cash for Clunkers initiative aimed at taking aged gas-guzzling vehicles off the road in exchange for wads of money? Well, a novel new program underway in Colorado is hoping to do the same thing -- but this time folks are being incentivized to ditch their outdated rides for the promise of a different kind of green altogether.

Last months, the Clear the Air Foundation launched a first-of-its-kind program to rid the streets of inefficient, polluting old cars by encouraging people to trade them in for trees. Working with car dealerships across the state, in partnership with the Colorado Tree Coalition, the Trees For Trade-ins initiative hopes to collect and scrap hundreds of donated clunkers, and in exchange, plant an equal number of trees to reforest regions in need of some arboreal cover.

For director Keith Wood, the Trees For Trade-ins program could be a great way to clear the air of pollution on two fronts. Not only does kicking older vehicles built with poor emission standards mean less smog, “the program will help plant trees in communities affected by natural disaster through the ReForest Colorado program and will assist in furthering the group’s mission to preserve, renew and enhance community forests in Colorado.”

Unlike some donation programs which refurbish and resell the vehicles they collect, cars gathered by the Trees For Trade-in program will be stripped down and sold for scrap, ensuring that their coughing tailpipes will no longer spit harmful fumes to dirty the air in Colorado.

As if that weren't forward-thinking enough, it gets better yet. According to The Trinidad Times, profits reaped from these scrapped cars will be used to fund scholarships in automotive and technology fields, and to aid those suffering from respiratory illnesses.

Tags: Colorado

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