If you’re trying to decide between paper towels and hand dryers in your business, you probably think about the environmental friendliness of hand dryers as their biggest advantage.
There’s good reason for that. Paper towels obviously result in trees being cut down, and used paper towels fill up landfills. They also account for pollution through the burning of fossil fuels in the manufacturing and distribution (i.e., trucking) process. And they require a tremendous amount of water in the chemical cleansing they must go through.
Of course, hand dryers do use electricity, which has its own environmental impact. But technological advances in hand dryer models are dramatically reducing the amount of wattage they need to operate. In comparison, the negative environmental consequences of paper towels are clearly greater.
YOU’RE NOT JUST LOOKING AFTER THE TREES
But there are more reasons than being a good steward of the environment to choose hand dryers—reasons that simply make good business sense.
- Once they’re installed, hand dryers require almost no attention for their long lifetime, whereas paper towels must constantly be reloaded.
- Other than electricity, hand dryers have no recurring costs—unlike paper towels, which can add up to be a significant expense, especially when delivery costs are factored in.
- Hand dryers don’t require any disposal effort or cost. (Think of the waste of paper towels you see in a typical bathroom garbage can. Trash bags are filled with virtually nothing but paper towels. A lot of people grab a handful when they only need one. And paper towels often don’t even make it to the trash can—they are strewn on the floor and must be picked up, which not only involves labor cost but makes your bathroom seem dirty.)
- There’s also the matter of hygiene. Hand dryers do a better job of dehydrating the skin and penetrating all skin crevices. This reduced moisture reduces the viability of bacteria.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Hand dryers do require an initial investment, but as with any good investment, they will pay off over time. And you’ll be making the right choice for the environment. Going with hand dryers is unquestionably a win-win decision in the vast majority of cases.