You can wait and hope for governments to wake up to the realities of climate change and set new standards, but it on the individual level that the real difference is made. The best possible reality occurs when an organization finds a way to create incentives that push individuals into sustained action. It’s not always easy, especially as the recession forces most people to think about their families before worrying about Mother Nature. There may never be a perfect time, but climate change is a real issue that must be addressed right away, as it seems to get worse each and every year. Ask the people who suffered from the effects of super storm Sandy if environmental issues must be addressed, and you’ll certainly receive an immediate and emotional answer. The U.S. federal government created one fantastic program over the past couple years that reaped real and lasting results in their ‘Cash for Clunkers’ effort. With that as a template, a UK-based charity is launching an improved offering they are hopeful will create an even stronger impact, while empowering individuals to take responsibility. It’s being referred to as ‘Trees for Clunkers’, and it’s already making a difference across the country.
To check out this new nonprofit program head over to scrapcarplanttree.org.uk. In a nutshell, the organization behind these efforts will accept cars in any condition, as long as you are willing to donate it. If your car is a hunk of junk that can’t even move out of your driveway they’ll still take it, and make sure it is disposed of in an environmentally sustainable way. In return, they’ll plant trees in your honor. A junk car will earn as many as thirteen new trees, quite a haul for a pile of scrap parts. If your car can be driven, this organization will auction it off to the highest bidder. In return they’ll plant an entire grove of trees.
This is a huge change from the US program. In Cash for Clunkers, Americans would receive a check when turning in their old vehicle, as long as they used that check to purchase a car that got far better gas mileage. The goal there is obvious. You get a car that creates a huge carbon footprint off the road, and replace it with a more eco-friendly model, which the new driver would maintain for years to come. The impact on the environment over time is clear, and millions of Americans took advantage of the opportunity.
The UK program takes things a step further. It obviously requires people to be a bit less selfish. You’re not getting a discount on your new car in this program, after all. But for those who truly care about the future of our planet, the Trees for Clunkers program does double the good. A new tree is a weapon in the fight against climate change. It filters the air of dangerous chemicals and creates fresh oxygen. It plays a key role in many eco systems, while acting as a source of food and protection for many animal species. Trees planted inside cities can actually reduce the average air temperature in those busy urban environments. Every tree planted helps reverse the human impact on the planet, insuring there will be a shared, positive future ahead. So check out their website, toss aside those greasy car covers and take advantage of the program. The future of the human race will thank you for it.