Hand Dryers or Paper Towels – Which is more Eco-friendly?

Posted Date: 27-05-2014

Going green in your offices not only has a tremendous impact on the environment but can also reduce energy consumption within your office resulting in a lower expense overall. In addition to hiring professional office cleaners who provide a green cleaning service, the equipment used within your office can also be improved to reduce wastage and improve efficiency. Today we discuss the commonly used hand-drying techniques and which is more greener.

At a glance the answer to this question seems quite simple; paper towels look to be a less green way to dry your hands. This is because we can see the physical wastage associated with paper towels whereas hand dryers only use air and we do not see any direct wastage involved. Looking into this further, shows us that we have to take into consideration the energy consumption of conventional hand dryers and the impact they have on the environment. The Reality is that paper towels as well as conventional hand dryers are both damaging to the environment and the greenest solution lies in a more modern hand drying technology.

A study conducted at MIT compared the most common hand drying methods used in public toilets. The study determines that both paper towels and conventional warm air dryers are the least efficient and have the biggest impact on the environment. They both generate upto 70% more carbon emissions than the latest hand-drying technology, the cold air-driven hand dryer (Dyson Blade). The research looked into the life cycle of the products including manufacturing process, use, and disposal as well as infection control.

Regardless of whether they are recycled, paper towels will result in the same CO2 emissions, which is 3 times more than that of the cool air-driven hand dryer. When compared, the conventional warm air hand dryers have the biggest impact on the environment during its use. During its use, there is significant energy consumption to power the heating elements and motors used to send out the warm air. This results in the conventional hand dryer being 80% less energy efficient than the cool air-driven hand dryer. Nowadays people want to be able to dry their hands quickly, effectively and with minimal damage to the environment – something this new technology may be able to do.

The cool air driven hand dryer is proprietary technology of Dyson and is known as the Dyson Blade. Details of the MIT Research paper can be found here.

Speak to our friendly team at EcoKleen to find out how we can help improve energy efficiency within your offices with eco-friendly office cleaning services in Melbourne.

So Call Us Now and Go Green with Ecokleen!

Go Back