For consumers coming to terms with years of driving a gas-guzzling, carbon-producing clunker car, there is a solution – trade it in for fresh, young saplings. That's the premise for a program in the United Kingdom, where owners can turn in their gas guzzler and have tree groves planted in return.

"Scrap Car, Plant Tree" is run by the UK nonprofit organization Trees for Cities. The program offers restitution for the damage that cars do to the environment. Car owners can help repair the damage by having trees planted with the funds raised from the scrap metal or auction value of the vehicle. According to the website, "One scrap car plants about 13 trees on average while an auction car could plant a whole grove!"

The Trees for Cities initiative is similar to "Trees for Trade-Ins," launched early last year in Colorado by car dealers and the Colorado Clean the Air Foundation. Drivers trading in old cars received a nice tax deduction, and made a contribution to helping trees being planted in communities affected by natural disasters.

Nissan launched a similar program in Japan last year with the establishment of its Zero Emission Fund. Nissan Leaf drivers could earn CO2 "offset credits" that could later be sold by Nissan and the profits invested in both EV-charging infrastructure and forest-conservation efforts.

While it's not an EV, Smart wanted to acknowledge the difference its tiny Fortwo car was making in carbon offsetting through its fuel efficiency (33 city/41 highway miles per gallon for the coupe). It was launched in the US market in January 2008 and sold 24,622 units that first year. Before sales later tanked, the US distributor celebrated by teaming up with conservation group American Forests to plant an equal number of trees.

Experts say that global warming and climate change could be reversed by reducing carbon emissions and increasing tree plantings. At the very least, trading in a smog-spewing gas guzzler for oxygen-producing trees can bring peace of mind.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 1 Day Ago
      Good Idea, Troll Republicans will naturally oppose.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Ford Future
        Yes, they must be republicans. The world is black/white like that.
          EZEE
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          And, no floor which an unethical capitalist will go.... Lets see....beloved dictators with socialist somewhere in their party's name..... Mao - 100 million dead Stalin - 30 million dead Hitler (National SOCIALIST) - 26 million dead Pol Pot - 1/4 of his population All done in the name of the people. Lets also add in Rachel Carson, and 50 million dead. We could throw in Margaret Sanger, who was part of the eugenics crowd, and now a hero of the left (she wanted to keep the black population down, and spoke at KKK rallies). But keep up your beloved defense of government...they know what is better...and a few hundred million bodies to achieve utopia...well worth it.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Godwin's Law
          EZEE
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Meanwhile, in other news, a partial list of Obama people who have worked for, or connected to Goldman Sachs. Not counting other companies, and this is only a partial list, as there is a 3000 character limit... Philip Murphy: Obama Administration: Ambassador to Germany, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Head of Goldman Sachs, Frankfurt Barack Obama: Obama owes his career to Goldman Sachs which was not only his biggest financial contributor when he ran for the presidency but also his biggest contributor when he ran for the Senate Peter Orszag, Obama Budget Director, founding director of the Hamilton Project, funded by Goldman Sachs and Robert Rubin. Wikipedia indicates that Robert Rubin, Goldman’s ex-head, was one of Orszag’s mentors. Mark Patterson: Obama Administration: Chief of Staff to Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Lobbyist 2005-2008; Vice President for Government Relations Mark Peterson: Chief of staff to Timothy Geithner, Goldman Sachs vice president and lobbyist Steve Ratner: the shady billionaire financier who Obama appointed as his “car czar” and who resigned after it was revealed that his company, the Quadrangle Group, was apparently involved in “pay to play” for a billion dollars or so of New York State pension funds, and was under possible indictment by the New York AG and the SEC, also sits on the Advisory Council of the Goldman funded Hamilton Project Robert Reischauer: a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission from 2000-2009 and was its vice chair from 2001-2008. He too sits on the Hamilton Project’s advisory board. Alice Rivlin: Obama named Alice Rivlin to his so called deficit reduction commission. James Rubin: Son of Robert Rubin. Served as a headhunter for Obama per the New York Times article, "Rubin Proteges Change Their Tune as They Join Obama’s Team" Gene Sperling: advisor to Timothy Geithner on bailouts, Sperling paid by Goldman Sachs for one year of consulting work. Adam Storch: Obama Managing Executive of the Security and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement Vice President in the Goldman Sachs Business Intelligence Group Larry Summers: Obama chief economic adviser and head of the National Economic Counsel, Worked under Robert Rubin at Goldman Sachs John Thain: Obama Administration: Advisor to Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner, Former Goldman Sachs Title: President and Chief Operating Officer (1999-2003)
          Ford Future
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Bad ideas, come from a corporate sponsor. Republicans groval at the feet of corporate sponsors, like the Koch brothers. They make your policy. What's to debate? There is no floor under which an unethical capitalist will not go below. - Deny the obvious global warming meltdown and Drought: Check. - Let's raise our cattle on cheap corn, and let them stand in manure for the last 60 days of our lives, what could go wrong? - Let's build nuclear power with no passive safety systems, and not upgrade current plants to have passive safety systems: Check. - Let's let unregulated Wall Street commit fraud, with Mortgage Backed Securities. - Let's let banks write policies and sell the off as high quality, while being unqualified borrowers: Check. Don't you see a pattern here, yet? Now this, tree's are carbon sinks, and replanting America is a good first step.
          EZEE
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          So....if they disagree with you, they are republican trolls. Sounds like a black and white statement to me. To follow your philosophy, it would be, "people might oppose, but, that would be o standards established at that moment. I would not call them republicans or trolls, as that would be labeling, and labels diminish us all. Also, their opposition is my interpretation of pixels on a screen, and may not be correct, as, since nothing is black and white, I cannot even be sure of my own existence." Liberals, by their own admission and philosophy, do not exist.
        Ford Future
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Ford Future
        And look below, the trolls did come out! Shock.
          Ford Future
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Ford Future
          Here's an example of incompetent, delusional, leader in the party: The senile Jack Welch. Obama loves high unemployment??? While Mr. Welch has pushed for lower wages for the bottom 99.9%, and indeed to ship your job off onto a barge in the ocean. This is the nut you guys listen to. Rich Republicans make rules to Rob Middle class Republicans, and this guy was instrumental in shipping jobs overseas, pushing up Unemployment. So naturally, he's got to blame Obama. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/21/jack-welch-obama-inauguration_n_2521641.html
      Reggie
      • 1 Day Ago
      UK had a plant a tree in 73 back in the 1970's in our area, so l planted a tree in our local designated area. It did not end up doing much good the British Government bulldozed the lot and built the M25 Motorway on the spot we planted our trees, today 100,000s of polluting cars pass over the spot every day where the trees were once planted, what a waste of my time back in 1973 that was.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Day Ago
      I'd like to see exactly how this car to tree machine works on the inside ;)
        EZEE
        • 1 Day Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I like How it shoots trees out. I can imagine, all the Japanese running away as this thing approaches, carrying their possessions, yelling (with their lips moving oddly differently than the words hat are coming out), 'oh no, it's the helpful good time happy tree machine, we must flea!'
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Day Ago
      I like trees ! I mean, who doesn't ? Trees in an urban environment soften the grey concrete effects of a city, and are very aesthetically pleasing ! Ugly roads and buildings can be beautified by just adding a few trees. I am fortunate to life in a city whose founding fathers, planted lots of trees and provided large urban parkland. Trees are great ! However, schemes like "Scrap Car, Plant Tree" are no real value in lowering atmospheric CO2. These schemes are largely driven by ideology, and a 'feel good' approach to environmentalism. Nothing is achieved, except to make people feel good, and not have to bother about the real issues of bio-spheric pollution. Most of the touted science behind such schemes is simplistic, inaccurate and just plain bad science ! The amount of carbon 'trees' can absorb, depends on many factors. The type of tree, the soil, ability to cope with ozone, stress,. what happens leaves, etc. In urban environments, trees are seldom planted as self -contained eco-systems. Individual trees don't function the same as trees in a forest. Urban trees also have problems with root growth etc. Plant the wrong tree in the wrong place (such as a sitka in Finland) can cause problems like, 'negative albedo'. (The CO2 absorbed by the tree is more than offset by the tree's absorption of solar radiation, transmission of thermal radiation and the obscuring of reflective, snow covered ground). But planting trees, not matter how ineffective, does give people a sense of empowerment, and feeling of moral virtue. The enormous popularity of the Paulownia tree developed by Australians Joe Virtanen (Australian Paulownia Trees) and James Lawrence of Toad Gully Growers, shows how popular the concept of tree growing can be among the idealistic. These trees have gained immense popularity (thanks to Oprah ), but also contributed to the rapid spread of wood boring insects to other species, with very harmful effect. In the meantime, the real problems of oceanic pollution (the planets largest carbon sink), and rapid destruction of rain forests ( most effective land based carbon sinks, partly due to ethanol production), continues unabated. The use of bunker oil by the worlds shipping fleet, emits over 1 billion tonnes of CO2 per year, and damages the oceans ability to sequester carbon. To offset this one pollution source, would require a forest (growing in good soil) covering an estimated area of approx, 50,000 sq miles per annum. (The forest could never be cut down, or burned) ! The US is blessed with nearly 20% of the worlds arable land. Wouldn't it be more moral, more economic, and more environmental, to just abolish to use of bunker oil, stop growing ethanol, and provide America's hungry neighbours with food incentives to stop cutting down precious rainforests !? But 'feel good' placebo's , no matter how ineffective, will always be more popular than real solutions!
        Ford Future
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Marcopolo
        One of the largest carbon sinks is the Amazon forest. So, attempting to rebuild American and UK forest, if done on a larger scale, and you have to start somewhere, would be Effective.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Long post... I have an even more simple problem with this entire idea. A tree is a carbon sink. It does remove carbon from the air, yes. But it stores it inside. As soon as that tree dies, is cut down or whatever... it decomposes and the carbon gets let out. Even worse is if the tree is cut down and then burned for fuel. That carbon goes straight the back into the air, plus whatever carbon the tree naturally has. Carbon neutral? hell no. There is no real magic trick to reducing co2 other than not emitting so much of it. 7 billion people produce something like a non-stop mid-sized volcano eruption worth of carbon.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 1 Day Ago
      "Scrap Car, Plant Tree is "Copse for Clunkers" plan in UK" Would make more sense with "Corpse", I think. Don't know what a "Copse" is.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Day Ago
      @ Ford Future Do you understand the difference between tropical rain forests, and temperate forests? Please try to do a little research before you post !
      EZEE
      • 1 Day Ago
      Note to self... Trees evil....must all be destroyed....got it! (I never did that bit with you before). :D
      EZEE
      • 1 Day Ago
      Hey Ford! Look what Europe is doing! :D An energy export boom is sweeping U.S. forests. The trees are fast becoming a crucial energy supply for European power producers seeking to meet the European Union’s goal for renewable energy use and carbon emissions reductions. Blending in biomass to coal-fired power stations is an increasingly popular strategy to meet the European targets, which call for renewable sources to meet 20 percent of energy demand by 2020 and for a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels.
 Experts in life-cycle analysis, however, question whether burning biomass to generate power does Earth’s atmosphere much good. That’s because trees harvested expressly for power generation—which European Commission–financed research suggests will provide at least two thirds of utilities’ biomass supply needs through 2030—potentially could have grown larger and absorbed more carbon from the atmosphere if they had been left unharvested.
 Regulators appear to be listening. Late last year, the Commission’s European Environment Agency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded independently that harvesting trees for power generation and biofuels production could actually raise atmospheric carbon levels in some cases. As a result, both Washington, D.C., and Brussels are reassessing how to count emissions from biomass combustion.

        EZEE
        • 1 Day Ago
        @EZEE
        So our trees will be chopped down because Europe needs renewable energy sources.... Oh...my side.... :D
        Marcopolo
        • 1 Day Ago
        @EZEE
        @ Ezee Stop encouraging these delusional rants from Ford Future. Like DF before him, and several others, they launch into tirades of political party slogans, no matter what the topic. At least DF, was, and in his new guise as Giza Plateau, is still just barking mad, with supercilious derision for everyone. ( He's an equal opportunity troll). I have always wondered if Ford Future isn't a secret member of the TEA party. Reading his tirades would persuade any non-aligned voter to think that all democrats are insane ! Or maybe he's hoping the Dem's will pay him to stop being a supporter ?
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Day Ago
      @ 2 wheeled menace Well, to be fair if the tree which is cut down is used for lumber, some of the carbon remains sequestrated a long time. The oceans act as a giant carbon sink. The major threat to the oceans ability act as a carbon sink is the toxic pollution created by shipping fuel. Human contribution to excessive CO2 climate change emissions maybe as low as 22 billion tonnes per annum. 20% of that can be attributed to the effects of shipping pollution, another 20-30 % can be attributed to rain forest destruction. Eliminating just two of these problems would get us half way there !
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