Posted May 21, 2008 by Zak Patten
In this era of $130-per-barrel oil and rising awareness of global warming, you wonder why all airlines aren't trying to fly on french-fry grease. Well, JetBlue may never top off its tanks at your local diner, but the environmental initiatives it announced yesterday as a part of its Jetting To Green campaign do have the potential to be transformative.
For starters, JetBlue is teaming up with a few industry heavy hitters (Airbus, Honeywell Aerospace, and International Aero Engines) to try to develop what's known in eco-circles as a "sustainable second-generation biofuel" that can be used in commercial aircraft. This seems like a wise move, since the first generation of biofuels derived from corn seems to be responsible for driving up the cost of food, and not just the Corn Flakes in your cereal bowl, but the chicken (from birds fed with corn) McNuggets you snarfed down last night. (Don't try to deny it—I saw you at the drive-through!)
Oh, and this new eco-friendly trend gets even better, especially if you like prizes. And Priuses. And prizes that are Priuses, or is that Priuses that are prizes? Anyyyyyyyway, as I was saying, just enter the Jetting To Green Sweepstakes for a chance to win a Toyota Prius hybrid car or an Energy Star Sharp Aquos LCD TV with Blue-ray Disc player.
Last but certainly not least, JetBlue has partnered with Carbonfund.org, which allows customers to offset the carbon dioxide emissions they've generated by flying. The five bucks you pay per round-trip flight to offset your emissions goes to a bunch of cool eco-projects like developing wind farms in Texas, capturing methane gas from New York State landfills, and reforestation in Louisiana. All great projects, particularly the methane-capture one—you ever smell a landfill?
So what do you think, is JetBlue now the greenest airline? And are you more likely to fly a green airline than a dirty brown one, or is it all just about ticket price?
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