Thursday, December 28, 2006

Energy Saving (and Marketing) Tip #25: Do your business before you fly

After yesterday's wind power post I stumbled upon a post by Tom over at TerraPass.com about China Southern's urging passengers to avoid the fuel-wasting toilets on board.

Tom says:
They claim each flush burns one liter of jet fuel, creating about 5.6 lbs of CO2....The results are clear: ditch your holiday biomass before you board the plane. For a cross-country flight, each extra pound you carry on puts almost a pound of CO2 in the air. As for the tips from our friends in China, our quick back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that you would have to reduce your weight by over two lbs to achieve the claimed CO2 savings on a 1500 mile trip! A more “normal” event would be half a pint, or a savings of just 0.44 lbs of CO2 for your pre-flight bathroom trip.
Whoa, two pounds?!? I like to eat, but whoa. Better add some fiber to your diet.

Tom got stuck on the toilet and didn't read the Reuters story further. The Chinese airline has calculated that carrying one kilogram of items such as blankets and pillows by air for one hour uses 0.2 kg of fuel.
"This means the blankets and pillows on board the aircraft eat up 60 tonnes of fuel every day. If each seat is loaded with three 450-gram magazines, another 60 tonnes will be consumed," Liu explained.
So are they going to tell travelers to just go cold on the plane? Yea, right. People will bundle up and given our need to over consume the plan will backfire. Consumers will go big and start buying up the North Face McMurdo Parka - weighing in at 4 lbs 12 oz (2155 g). Obviously not helping here.

BUT, if China Southern told all their passengers to buy (or better yet issued each passenger) a North Face Flash jacket - weighing in at 12 oz (340 g) - not only would the Chinese airline save fuel but people would be ultra warm and VF Corp would sell more jackets.

They could even re-brand the airline as China Northern. Everyone wins! That is unless they "buy local" and purchase some knock-offs from the thriving Chinese black market. Sigh.

But I digress...and I think I need a bathroom break before I start to get some real work done around here.

The Full Story - Reuters UK

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