Thanks to the outrageous price of petroleum last year, airlines are now looking at ways to reduce fuel needs and consumption. The world’s largest airline, Southwest, said it is testing a green plane. It is a modified 737 with green changes throughout the plane. Some of the changes include carpet and seat covers.
The carpet will be in pieces and made out of recyclable material, allowing Southwest to replace sections of the carpet instead of all the carpet. In addition, the seat covers are twice as durable, meaning that they will need to be replaced half the time, saving on carbon emissions and landfill-space. Also, the life-vests is smaller and lighter, saving on fuel costs and also offering more leg-space.
Although Southwest claims to be doing this to be green, the real reason is to save money on jet-fuel costs. By reducing the materials in each seat by 5 lbs, each plane will save approximately 9,500 gallons of fuel. This equates to $19,000 a year per place, or $10.3 million a year.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) moved Southwest Airlines to number 23 on the Environmental Protection Agency Fortune 500 Green companies. In addition, the company purchased 16 million kW of renewable electricity.
With this commitment, Southwest is working hard to be green. Even if climate change is not happening (as many claim), it is still important to clean up non-carbon dioxide emissions such as nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide. By using clean electricity and reducing fuel consumption, Southwest is helping to make this a reality.
Green Airline — US Airline Tests Green Plane.