How did TireBuyer employees end up digging tires out of the sand on a beautiful, sunny, summer day?
The idea was hatched about a year ago on my morning run. TireBuyer.com is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. Many of us live in Seattle proper; I live in an area known as West Seattle – a peninsula just south and west of downtown. West Seattle is home to what I consider one of the best running routes in the city (and probably the whole state): an almost completely flat, seven-plus mile stretch with jaw-dropping views of the city skyline, the Olympic Mountains, and the Puget Sound the whole way. If you’re feeling any pain while you run, there’s plenty to distract you: ferry boats and massive container ships cruising in and out of the bay, as well as frequent wildlife sightings, including bald eagles, osprey, river otters, great blue herons, and harbor seals.
One Sunday during my run, I stopped to take some pictures of a particularly photogenic eagle that was perched on a pier. As I watched it fly down to the beach, I noticed something that seemed totally out of place in this idyllic scene – a large tire embedded deep in the sand, so only the sidewall was showing. Since I work for a company that sells tires, my first thoughts were:
- That should NOT be there
- We (TireBuyer employees) need to get it out of there
I talked the idea up around the office and there was plenty of interest, but we were right in the middle of launching the all-new version of TireBuyer.com. Everyone was working overtime already and there just wasn’t time for a tire recovery mission. When the topic came up again nearly a year later, things had calmed down a bit in the office and a small group of us decided to go for it. In the meantime, I’d found five more tires buried in the sand along my running route.
On our inaugural tire-gathering adventure, we removed just two of the six tires thanks to some challenges with the timing of low tide (hey, tide charts are harder to read than you think). As you can imagine, after being in the water for many years, these tires had basically become condos for a variety of sea creatures. We relocated as many as possible, including sea anemones and hermit crabs, before loading up the tires and taking them to a recycling facility.
We wish we’d been able to get all six tires. But that’s two tires no longer littering the beautiful beaches of West Seattle – and we’re planning another tire recovery mission soon.
If you live in the Seattle area and see tires on the beach, you can email us with specific details and locations at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t promise that we’ll be able to remove them all, but we’ll certainly do our best.