Let Oscar the Grouch teach you about sustainable aviation fuel

United Airlines’ partnership with the beloved puppet educates fliers about green fuel

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Photograph: Courtesy PRNewsfoto/United AirlinesUnited Names Oscar the Grouch as First Chief Trash Officer

You may be a frequent flier, but do you know how planes fly? Or what they fly on? United Airlines is helping to educate consumers on fuel and sustainability, thanks to a new partnership with Oscar the Grouch, aviation and trash educator extraordinaire. Named United’s first and only Chief Trash Officer, Oscar’s in charge of showing the public how food waste can be converted into a more sustainable fuel to fly planes. 

United’s new partnership with Sesame Workshop puts the beloved grumpy puppet front and center in marketing campaigns and promotional content, explaining in laypeople’s terms what sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is and what we as fliers need to know about green fuel.

"Every airline burns jet fuel to run their business, but no airline will solve climate change alone. So United has enlisted Oscar to help us educate the traveling public of all ages about SAF and rally them to the cause of fighting climate change," United's chief communications officer Josh Earnest said in a statement. "From banana peels to fryer grease, Oscar is uniquely qualified to help us explain why trash could be the treasure that fuels the jets of the future."

United has invested in SAF production more than any other airline to date. Currently, SAF makes up less than 0.1% of United’s fuel use, so we still have a long way to go before our trips are fueled by spent cooking oil and rotting banana peels.

Maybe Oscar can be the progressive hero (he’s a recycling champion, after all) we’ve always known him to be.

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