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Why Businesses Should Go Green With Eco-Friendly Hand Dryers

Increased awareness of the environmental challenges facing the world mean that more and more business owners are searching for ways to reduce the environmental impact of their businesses. For many, the desire to improve their environmental performance goes hand in hand with the pressure to save money – energy-efficiency is the key both to reducing carbon emissions and to keeping electricity bills manageable in an era of rising costs. 

For businesses with public lavatories, such as restaurants, pubs or theatres, hand drying can be a major source of carbon emissions. The same is true for office buildings or public spaces, where high traffic in lavatories means many users drying their hands throughout the day. Although traditional hand-drying methods can have a significant environmental impact, recent advances in technology now offer businesses a chance to cut down on their carbon footprint, as well as saving on energy bills. 

Business owners have always had to make the choice between the hand dryer and the traditional paper towel dispenser. This debate has usually been framed in terms of expense – dryers are usually more expensive initially, but towel machines need to be constantly restocked. Additionally, towel dispensers create large amounts of waste and require more regular attention than dryers. On the other hand, a dryer can add to a business's energy bills. Cloth towels are still seen in some lavatories, but users often avoid these, citing hygiene concerns. For most businesses, hand dryers and paper towels are the only practical options. 

The environmental debate mirrors the financial debate in many ways. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages. Electric dryers consume electricity, adding to a business's carbon footprint. On the other hand, paper towels can contribute to deforestation and increase the amount of waste a business produces, putting increased pressure on landfill space. 

However, recent advances in dryer technology have changed the terms of the debate. New dryer designs are faster and much more energy-efficient than older models. A 2011 study conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology determined that paper towels and older, warm-air dryers created up to 70% more carbon emissions than the newest dryers. High-speed dryers can completely dry a user's hands in 10-12 seconds, compared to 40-45 seconds for warm air dyers. 1,000 dries with a traditional dryer will consume around 25 kilowatt-hours of electricity, compared to around 6 for a high-speed dryer. High-speed dryers therefore represent a 76% savings over older warm air dryers. By contrast, a thousand dries with paper towels can cost around £15, or the cost of 150 kilowatt-hours of electricity. By switching to energy-efficient hand dryers UK businesses could make significant reductions in their energy consumption – and by extension, in their environmental impact. 

The combination of financial and environmental benefits makes the energy-efficient hand dryer an answer to the long-running debate between electric dryers and paper towels.


Author Bio:  This guest blog post was contributed by Keir McCarton of