ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It takes thousands of pounds of propane to get balloons at Balloon Fiesta Park off the ground every year. Now, a familiar name in fuel is helping cut down on the event’s affect on the environment.
They are mesmerizing. Balls of flickering light dot the sky. Plumes of fire propel giant envelopes, sending them towards space.
Locals may not think twice about what fuels those fires, but Eric Corely’s team did.
“Each year, they burn about 100,000 gallons of propane in getting the balloons in the air,” said Corely.
Corely Is the Regional Manager of Southwest Convenience Stores, in charge of the Alon and 7-Eleven Stores in Albuquerque and West Texas. This is his fourth Balloon Fiesta and his business just signed up for another three.
“It draws people from all over the United States,” said Corely.
Corely and his company learned a thing or two about ballooning, too, thanks to the tent they sponsor.
“The 7-Eleven Balloon Discovery Center,” he said.
Including the amount of propane balloonists use to pilot their crafts. It’s what inspired his company to expand its program to offset carbon emissions.
“We planted 550 trees last year, one for each balloon, and we’re going to do the very same thing this year,” said Corely.
Seven-eleven started the program with the help of an Atlanta-based company two years ago, offsetting emissions from the fuel they sell by donating to projects like reforestation and wind farms.
While Corely doesn’t know exactly how it all works, he says they’re proud to give back to the community and a little something extra for Fiesta.
The program is called Strive. According to its website, its parent company out of Atlanta aims to help its clients boost sales while promoting sustainability.