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Used Cooking Oil Powers Transatlantic Flights
4/9/2013

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has begun weekly transatlantic flights from New York to Amsterdam using biofuel made from used cooking oil.   (Source: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines)
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has begun weekly transatlantic flights from New York to Amsterdam using biofuel made from used cooking oil.
(Source: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great news
Ann R. Thryft   5/8/2013 6:59:29 PM
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Rob, I think you're spot-on about education. I'm not sure why I remember those things--what materials are especially harmful--but I do, and it definitely influences my behavior.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Great news
Rob Spiegel   5/8/2013 1:54:05 PM
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Ann, I think of lot of the decision making depends on education. Knowledge of what non-green products are particularly harmful to the environment would probably work to change behavior.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great news
Ann R. Thryft   5/8/2013 12:37:43 PM
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Well, I don't always wait for cost parity to buy the (truly) green alternative, depending to some extent on how badly the non-green alternative is hurting ecosystems and wildlife. The more damaging the non-green product, the more likely I'll pay more for green. Lots of people, although by no means a majority, vote this way with their pocketbooks.

Rob Spiegel
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Rob Spiegel   5/7/2013 5:05:14 PM
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Yes, Ann, I've seen the cost difference come down as well and it has affected my choices. The cost difference on many products has become negligible. When that's the case, I choose the more sustainable product. Also, sometimes -- such as lighting -- the sustainable product is often more economical if you calculate the long run.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great news
Ann R. Thryft   5/7/2013 12:39:59 PM
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Most studies I've seen have shown that US consumers won't pay extra for sustainable, eco-friendly products, but that's apparently been shifting over the last few years: some definitely will, and the cost difference has shrunk.



Rob Spiegel
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Re: Great news
Rob Spiegel   5/6/2013 7:02:23 PM
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That's good to know, Ann. I didn"t realize U.S. consumers were pushing green at all. Not sure our consumers would pay a premium for green. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great news
Ann R. Thryft   5/6/2013 2:25:18 PM
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Thanks for the explanation, Rob. I agree, the US is still catching up with Europe in that regard, but it does seem to be happening. I'd say one definition of "significant traction" is the increase in laws banning single-use plastic bags, which consumers (meaning everyone who buys anything) voted for. Another is definitely not buying/boycotting non-green products, which has certainly happened in the US. Greenwashing or not, more consumers are buying more "green" products.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Great news
Rob Spiegel   5/2/2013 9:48:34 PM
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Ann, what I meant by significant traction is just what you explained, that consumers are making their voices heard when it comes to green products, I know that European consumers have been willing to pay a premium for green products for some time. I also know that US consumers have lagged in this area. Maybe not any longer.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Great news
Ann R. Thryft   5/1/2013 12:19:20 PM
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Rob, I don't know how specific the link from a consumer's pocketbook to a company's profits has been in the US. But that's not the only way they make known their demands--another is the voting booth--and everyone in bioplastics has told me consumer demand (meaning from everyone who buys anything) is what drove the changes--not to mention the entire sustainability movement. What do you mean, exactly by "significant traction"?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Great news
Rob Spiegel   4/25/2013 11:47:24 AM
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Hey, Ann, I didn't realize consumers were making their voice heard on bioplastics. Are they voting with their pocketbooks? I knew Europe and Japan had consumer bases that preferred green, but I didn't realize that green had gained significant traction in the U.S.

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