Friday Flush 15.08.08

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4 Responses

  1. FoodieFi says:

    I hope I never need to add ‘bog’ as a topic on W&F! Btw, Macq advocates dryer as the noun and drier as the adjective.

    Do you know anything about the comparative impact of dryers vs paper towel, both in terms of environment and hygiene?

  2. Thanks for the English tip. That definitely makes sense.

    A lifecycle assessment carried out by Environmental Resources Management (for Airdri) in 2001 found that overall hand dryers are more efficient than paper towels.

    The LCA used a cradle-to-grave assessment of the environmental impact of the two methods, based on the assumption of a 30 second air dry and 2 paper towels per use. It also assumes a 5 year life cycle for air dryers which I find a bit generous.

    “The drier (sic) system performs better than the average paper towel systems with the exception of resource depletion (all the paper towel systems perform better).”

    The paper towels lost considerable green points because of the production of the paper and of bin liners and in the disposal of used towels. This could certainly be affected if (1) people used only one towel and (2) paper towels could be recycled.

    You can read a great summary of the report at TreeHugger http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/lca_handdryer_papertowels.php

    As to hygiene, I think the jury’s still out. Some say dryers, some say towels. I say pants.

  3. FoodieFi says:

    Thanks for the link; that report summary had just the kind of info I’ve been curious about. I’m certainly more interested in an environmental comparison between the two, rather than a hygiene-related one. I remember someone saying once that blow-drying heats your moist hands to a perfect temperature for bacteria to thrive. That’s not why I eschew hand-dryers: like you I figure I have sufficient, environmentally-neutral dryers on my person. Pants, hair or scarf normally does the trick.

  4. SpaceCadet says:

    I’ve run into those Dyson “airblade” hand dryers in a number of European airports over the last year or so. They’re absolutely fantastic, and fun to use!!

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