All Nippon Airways a bit too green (but less brown and less yellow)

This story appeared on’s list of dumbest moments in business in 2009. I cannot tell if this is gross, funny or just inappropriate. You decide.

With only a quick trip to the loo, you too can reduce greenhouse gases! At least, that was the thinking behind an experiment from All Nippon Airways.

The Japanese airline positioned staff members at the boarding gate to ask passengers to relieve themselves before boarding. The theory: A Boeing 777 holds 247 people; the average human bladder holds 2.2 pounds of liquid; ergo a quick trip to the can could cut a plane’s weight by 543 pounds.

The lighter load — a decrease in weight equal to about four women — saves fuel and greenhouse gas emissions, All Nippon said. The test ran through the month of October and aimed for a 4.2-ton emission reduction. Did it work? The airline won’t, er, spill yet on whether the pre-flight potty trips made a difference.

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