How to gas up and go green in New West

Movers & Shakers

Drivers can now help plant trees when they pump gas at 7-Eleven in the Vancouver area.

In conjunction with National Tree Day on Sept. 26, 7-Eleven launched the new RENEW reduced-emissions pilot program – the first of its kind in Canada – at the store at 790 Sixth St.

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According to 7-Eleven, the RENEW program automatically calculates a vehicle’s estimated tailpipe emissions and invests in certified carbon-reduction programs, such as planting trees, solar power generation and landfill gas capture, resulting in up to 30 per cent reduced emissions.

Nick Angelo, Sr., director of operations for 7-Eleven Canada, said customers don’t have to do anything different – they just have to pump gas.

“They just fill up their tanks and we’ll do what it takes to offset some of the carbon emissions. We’ll invest the funds, not only in planting trees, but also in some of the great approved programs such as solar, wind and recovery of landfill gases,” he said. “This is an important initiative and we hope that many of our customers will support it by participating in the RENEW program.”

Rnold Smith, president of the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce, praised the program.

“It is particularly exciting and inspiring when a business that is great at solving problems, focuses on problems that are affecting all of us,” he said. “Thank you 7-Eleven for tackling this societal issue. Not only is it good for our community and our planet, but it is also good for business.”

RENEW has partnered with Tree Canada, a national non-profit organization and addressing environmental issues, and will be working on volunteer events throughout the year. Tree Canada gave out free tree saplings at the program launch.

Laura Cottle, a volunteer with Tree Canada, said the goal is to plant 10,000 trees this year.

“Trees reduce the effects of climate change, they clean our air, they provide habitat to sustain biodiversity, and they help us live longer, healthier lives,” she said in a press release. “We thank 7-Eleven for their commitment to a greener Canada.”

Dean Gibson, the city’s director of parks and recreation, said New Westminster’s urban forest canopy has been shrinking and the city’s urban forest management strategy calls for the planting of an additional 11,000 trees.

“With today’s kick-off of 7-Eleven’s RENEW program and its partnership with TREE Canada, it is very exciting to hear that our local communities will be better for it,” he said. “The city looks forward to participating in the project. Together we can grow a healthy urban forest while at the same time look to offsetting tailpipe emissions.”


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