Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What harms the environment more?

Today whilst in the toilet I saw a notice on the hand drier extolling the virtues of using hot air over paper towels, including the fact that it does not create as much waste. But how much carbon is emitted into the atmosphere by its use?

Which is the lesser of two evils? Paper towels or a hand drier?

6 comments:

Mustafa Arif said...

Unfortunately, in most public toilets the hand dryer is clearly the lesser of the two evils. This is because paper towels inevitably end up causing blockages since people don't seem to treat public facilities with the same respect that they would their own homes.

Whilst the hand dryer certaily consumes energy, you are forgetting the "embodied energy" (i.e. the energy required for manufacture) of the paper products.

xenon said...

Well a lot of public toilets will use recycled paper towels so I think its quite a tough one to decipher. I think if you were bothered enough to study it in depth you would most likely find that they are broadly the same.

Bill said...

You need also to consider how the electricity to work the hand dryer was generated. In the UK I believe a high proportion is generated by burning oil, gas or coal, whereas in France a very high proportion is generated in nuclear power plants. No doubt quite a lot of energy is used to produce and transport paper towels and other similar products.

Damon said...

The pubs (etc) I go to, the paper towels have already been stuffed down the toilet deliberately to block it, and the electric hand-dryer has been sabotaged/switched off. Shake off is the next best method.

Gavin Ayling said...

Paper towels must be transported to their distributed locations as well... My employer has decided that paper towels are less green.

Of course it depends whether you believe that the human impact on climate change is worth considering and whether we would be better off spending our efforts on mitigating its effects rather than trying to avoid the inevitable.

Anonymous said...

this is emily carter and i think that used needles just dumped on the floor and in the bins are harm to our inviroment thats by emily carter age 14

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