9.03.2009

I Wash My Hands on This Issue


As eco-friendly as I’ve tried to be in my life, there are two things supposedly bad for the environment that I’m having a hard time shedding: plastic bags and paper towels. As to the first, we’re starting to fill them up as much as possible before throwing them out, reuse them when we can, and shift some use to cloth bags.

But as to the second, I cannot seem to shake their use, especially in the kitchen and in public bathrooms. This article provides a fairly pro-paper towel conclusion, when compared to convention hand dryers and the new fangled Dyson hand dryers, at least when it comes to speed and germs.

But I thought the whole point about paper towel hating, from an environmental standpoint, was that they generate loads of waste? So, time and germ considerations aside, what’s worse for the environment: going through reams and reams of paper, or making and then running higher-tech and electricity-requiring blowers? If someone can point me to an article that covers this question like this Slate article covered the whole “cloth vs. disposable diapers” question, I’d appreciate it; I’d like to know how I should dry my hands in the men’s room.
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