Southwest may not have in-flight entertainment systems or wi-fi like some of their competitors, but they are going after a different consumer, those that are eco-friendly.  Southwest debuted its “Green Plane” yesterday, which is a concept that combines, efficiency, environmentally responsible products, consumer comfort, while reducing waste and weight.

The plane’s new interior will save about five pounds per seat, thus saving fuel and reducing emissions.  The cabin interior will also have some recyclable elements which reduces waste.  Beginning Nov. 1 Southwest will ramp up its in-cabin recycling  program on all of their flights, and you can bet the green plane will be recycling-driven as well.

Some of the eco-friendly products being tested on this plane include:

  • InterfaceFLOR Carpet – this carpet is 100% recyclable and when it ends its life on the plane it will be re-manufactured into new carpet, with a process that is completely carbon neutral.  It also reduces labor and material costs because it is installed in sections.
  • Seat Covers – the two new seat cover products being tested offer twice the durability than the current leather seats and a weight savings of almost 2 lbs. per seat.
  • Life Vest Pouch – this product is now more environmentally friendly because it is smaller, does not have the current metal container and offers a weight savings of 1 lb. per customer.
  • Foam Fill – a lighter weight fill in the back of the seats reduces weight but increases comfort.
  • Passenger Seat Rub Strips – switching from plastic to aluminum helps with durability, thus reducing waste.

With the amount of flights Southwest has per day, this is definitely a step in the right direction for the company and the environment.  Hopefully they will see the cost savings from using these recyclable and environmentally friendly items and Boeing will continue to produce more green planes for Southwest and even some of their rival airlines.

To read more about Southwest’s eco-friendly plane, go to: http://blogsouthwest.com/blog/whats-a-green-plane-you-ask or http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/press/prindex.html

Southwest Green Plane

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