The Eco-Friendly Flyer's Checklist: Phone, Passport, Pre-Boarding Pee

Fun (and very real) fact: visiting the toilet before a flight can have a significant impact on the carbon emissions.

Written by Andrea Bonaiuto on 01 April, 2024

In a groundbreaking move that’s set to change the face of sustainable travel, Thrust Carbon, the leader in sustainability intelligence, has today unveiled a new recommendation for travelers to help reduce their carbon emissions while flying. This pioneering initiative encourages air travelers to actively reduce the weight of their flights by adopting one simple, yet effective habit before boarding. Research from Thrust Carbon indicates that peeing before a flight could save an astonishing 1.37 million tonnes of CO2e annually, which represents a reduction in total aviation emissions annually of ~0.17%. With a savings of 1.37 million tonnes of CO2e you could drive a small car 12.4 billion kilometers (that’s like driving to the moon over 32,000 times!).

At the heart of this research is a call to action for passengers to visit the restroom before flying. "The weight of every passenger matters," explains Kit Aspen, Thrust Carbon founder. "Our analysis shows that if every passenger lightens their personal load before takeoff by visiting the toilet, we can significantly reduce fuel consumption, leading to a sizable decrease in carbon emissions."

Aspen also highlights the impact of meal choices on a flight's carbon footprint. "It's not just about what you carry in your luggage, but also what you carry within yourself. Opting for a lighter meal, like a quinoa salad instead of a triple stack burger, can make a pungent difference. I mean, remember last April 1st when I had a triple stack burger... When you’re about to sit on a five hour flight, it matters."

Thrust Carbon’s novel research builds upon ANA's 2009 suggestion that passengers pee before the flight. That suggestion—which did not land on April 1st—was short lived but initiated as a cost-saving measure due to decreased fuel costs.

Understanding the potential skepticism, Aspen reassures, "While it might seem like we’re pulling your leg, the science is solid. It’s the small changes that lead to big impacts, and could be achieved through simple nudges such as stronger airport toilet signage or prioritizing toilet construction near gates at new terminals. We’re not just talking hot air here; we’re about making a difference, one flush at a time."

Thrust Carbon is committed to leading the charge in sustainable travel, and with this groundbreaking research, they’re setting a new standard for environmental responsibility in air travel.

Editorial notes

This press release is based on actual research on the effect of urination before a flight, all facts and figures are accurate, but the narrative & suggestion is a fictional creation for April Fool's Day and should be enjoyed with a sense of humor.

For Thrust Carbon press enquiries, please contact Andrea Bonaiuto, Head of Marketing at Thrust Carbon: andrea @ / +1 339 225 1931

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