First off, Merry Christmas! Now, while some of you must have assumed I’d be writing an appropriately seasonal post today, if you really know me, you know that I actually prefer to be inappropriate as often as possible.
So thanks to reader Molly who pointed me in the direction of this Treehugger post, which explains the environmental advantages of peeing before you get on a plane:
The energy used in one flush is enough for an economical car to run at least 10 kilometers. The motivation behind the airline’s restroom request is economic — China’s airlines flushed 3 billion yuan away in the first half of the year due to rising fuel costs — but the environmental cost of mile-high poop is also more than just a drop in the toilet … While the vacuum toilets used on airplanes are already pretty water-efficient, based on China Southern’s figures (1 L fuel/flush) and the altitude effect, the CO2 released by these toilets per flush is about 14.27 pounds. We knew in-flight bathrooms were dirty, but not this dirty.
Um, yeah, and that dirty factor is major — as a child, I had a serious phobia of airplane toilets. The loud noise of the flush, the freaky metallic bowl and blue liquid with that weird flappy thing at the bottom, and the big box of a seat all combined to give me the jitters, to the point where I almost peed my pants trying to hold it in until landing. Now I’m OK with using them, but when I go to New York in a few days, I’ll definitely be relieving myself beforehand so as to minimize the in-flight flushing.