Losing Weight to Save The EnvironmentBy
I saw a news story last night concerning the request by Japan’s All Nippon Airways for all of it’s passengers to make sure they urinate before boarding the plane. ANA is doing this in the hopes that it can save fuel, which in turn could save up to 5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per month. According to ABC News, the average human bladder will hold about 16 oz, and if everyone on board a Boeing 767 were to empty their full bladders prior to boarding the plane, that would reduce the weight of the plane by 240 lbs.
This story got me thinking. If we were to take into account the total amount of fuel that is wasted each day in the US due to an overweight population, how many barrels of oil would that be? Think about that for a moment. We use gasoline, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, ethanol, hydrogen, and a few other forms of fuel to transport us to work, the supermarket, on vacation, and various other trips. How much fuel is wasted because, as a population, we are too fat? If a small airline is asking it’s passengers to save up to 16 oz each in an effort to save money and the environment, what kind of impact could we have here in the USA if everyone were to lose only 5 lbs?
We always hear that you can get better gas mileage in your personal automobiles by cleaning the car out in an effort to reduce the weight of the car, thereby requiring less fuel to accelerate a vehicle to cruising speed and keep it there. I’ve never seen a paragraph in these articles mention that the driver could save just as much fuel, if not more, by losing that same amount of weight through diet and exercise. I could be wrong, and it may have been mentioned somewhere at some time, but it doesn’t mean that I am late to the party, so to speak.
Since the amount of fuel required to propel a vehicle, be it a big rig, pickup truck, subcompact, train, or even a plane, is largely based on the mass of the object and the speed to which it is necessary to accelerate to and maintain, it would only make sense that an effort should be made to lighten the load as often as possible. Strong but light is the major theme in the design of planes and automobiles, which benefit greatly through the use of materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber. Engineers go to great lengths to find materials that will allow the vehicles to be strong enough to support the loads placed on the unit, yet light enough to be a fuel efficient as possible.
Could the solution to all of our current economic hardships be the most simple? Stay with me here. What would the US look like if every citizen were to lose 5 lbs of body fat? Here are the potential benefits and areas where there would be immediate cost savings:
1) fuel (and an important step in reducing our expenditure for foreign oil)
2)clothing (less fabric needed to cover smaller bodies- 5lbs doesn’t necessarily mean a smaller size, but 8-10 could)
3)health insurance (a healthier body requires less medical procedures)
4)water (faster showers)
5)shoes (less weight means less stress on the cushioning in a shoe, making it last longer–sorry Doctor Scholls!!)
6)medication (tons and tons of medication are polluting waste water as it goes into our bodies and a small percentage passes through into the sewers)
That’s just 6, and I ask anyone reading this to share another in the comment section below.
There are many reasons to lose weight, from lowering blood pressure to easing stress on the joints of the body. Now, you can help the environment by dropping a few pounds. Just think, when I am running my Pine Brook Boot Camp classes, the campers and I will be doing our part to make the world a healthier place to live.
Let me know your thoughts.