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Chicagoland Firestone Complete Auto Care Celebrates Earth Day with "The Great Inflate," Offers Free Tire Checks to Help Improve Fuel Efficiency and Decrease Air Emissions

Free tread and pressure checks educate Chicago drivers about the positive impact of proper tire care on the environment

BLOOMINGDALE, Ill., April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, April 20, in honor of Earth Day, Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO) will host "The Great Inflate," offering free tire pressure and tread depth checks during regular business hours at 79 Firestone Complete Auto Care "Inflation Stations" in the Chicagoland area. This effort aims to educate area drivers about the effect of tire inflation and condition on fuel efficiency and air emissions.

Properly inflated and maintained tires can have a positive impact on the environment, decreasing rolling resistance for better gas mileage and lower emissions. It is estimated that if all drivers in Chicago properly inflated their tires, 6.1 million gallons of gas could be saved per year and annual greenhouse gas emissions would drop 61,200 tons*, while Chicagoland's air would be cleaner overall.

"We want local drivers to understand how they can help lower CO2 and other emissions with a couple of quick and easy tire checks," said John Sheerin, environmental director, BSRO. "If everyone in the United States took proper care of their tires, the difference we could make for our environment would be remarkable. We hope that through events like 'The Great Inflate,' drivers will see that proper tire care is something simple that can have big results for all of us."

In addition to the tire checks, all 79 stores will give away free tire pressure gauges while supplies last, as well as "Great Inflate" tip cards, offering information on their vehicle's recommended tire pressure and tread depth. And, a limited number of local radio station WXRT's sold-out CD, ONXRT: Live from the Archives Volume 14, will be available for free to the first drivers who participate.

"The Great Inflate" aligns with Bridgestone Corporation's "One Team, One Planet" environmental efforts. Believing that a tire's life is never over, BSRO has implemented an initiative called the Spent Tire Program, a key component of "One Team, One Planet." BSRO's more than 2,200 retail tire and automotive service center locations nationwide – which operate under the names Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, Expert Tire and Wheel Works – participate in the program, recycling 100 percent of spent tires received by the stores. The program works to ensure a one-for-one exchange: For every new tire purchased, a spent one will be put to another valuable use. The rescued rubber becomes part of asphalt, mulch, playground surfaces and more, or is used as a clean fuel source. Extending this commitment to the environment to overall car care, all BSRO stores utilize steel versus lead wheel weights for tire balancing, and also take used motor oil and used automotive batteries for recycling at no charge.                                                                                                                         

Additionally, BSRO partners with various local organizations and volunteer groups on community clean-up events, collecting improperly discarded tires from public spaces and waterways across the country. Since Earth Day 2012, nearly 25,000 tires have been salvaged and ultimately recycled through more than 80 of these clean-ups.

The announcement comes in conjunction with four others from Bridgestone this April, leading up to Earth Day. To view these announcements, visit: http://www.bridgestoneamericasmedia.com

To take part in "The Great Inflate," visit http://www.firestonecompleteautocare.com to find a convenient location in the Chicago area.

*Methodology: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it is estimated that, in the United States alone, 1.2 billion gallons of gasoline would be saved each year if all cars had properly inflated tires. Annual CO2 emissions would drop by 12 million tons. The Chicago estimate assumes that the average Chicago driver drives the same as the average U.S. driver. The totals are calculated using the number of registered automobiles in the U.S. in 2010 (242,060,545) and the number of registered automobiles in Chicago (1,244,091) in 2010.

About Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC:
Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC (BSRO) is headquartered in Bloomingdale, Ill., and operates the largest network of company-owned automotive service providers in the world — more than 2,200 tire and vehicle service centers across the United States — including Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus™, ExpertTire™ and Wheel Works store locations. Credit First National Association and Firestone Complete Fleet Care™ operations are also part of BSRO. BSRO is a member of the Bridgestone Americas family of companies.

SOURCE Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC

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