Paper hand towels

18 10 2007

I freakin’ love paper hand towels. Every rest room in the US has them. I know they’re less environment-friendly (are they really?) but they dry your hands so much better than air dryers (which most US rest rooms also have as an option).

The best models are swanky and have motion sensors – wave your hand in front and voila! Out pops some towel. Note: You need three sections, always. This is the simpler model that we have in our office restrooms:

handtowel

<sigh> I’ll miss the ubiquity of paper hand towels when I go home.

[Aside: ubiquity is a wicked-cool word.]

[Update: While at Dallas/Fort Worth airport I took a photo of one of those swanky dispensers with the motion sensors. Awesome!]

swanky paper hand towel dispenser

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9 responses

18 10 2007
Gayle

Matt, you are clearly either bored or missing Mel lots. ;P

Hope you are looking after yourself all the way over there!

19 10 2007
trentini

I am both bored and missing Mel lots! 🙂

But don’t underestimate the allure of the paper hand towel! I’ve been keeping a list of things to write about and this one has been up there since day one…I love ’em!

I hope *you’re* looking after yourself all the way over *there*! 🙂

19 10 2007
Jiggy

Someone should really do a PhD on the various hand drying techniques and which ones are the best for our environment, taking into account carbon emissions, conservation of trees, etc. I’d be really interested to know whether the bacteria breeding ground of the moving fabric hand towel that we have here at work really *is* better for the environment.

But yeah, paper towels rock! I mean, toilets are stinky places. You want to get out of there quickly…and paper towels are the best way to achieve this.

19 10 2007
adrian

I remember reading an article that about a study on which method of drying was the most hygenic.
The options were paper towel, electric air dryer, normal (reusable (yuk!)) towel and not drying.
I think the winner was the electric dryer…

21 10 2007
Brushy

Love the paper hand towels – we even have the automated ones in most toilets in petrol stations along the autobahn…they are just the bomb!

21 10 2007
Belinda

I think the hand drier is the best option for the environment, but not necessarily the most hygenic (sucks in faecal matter) leaving ur hands wet is the worst for hygeine…

even though i am a hygein freak i use the drier over the papertowel, but if i do use paper towel i use 1 sheet (nto 2-3 like most people) and its enough to dry my hands…

22 10 2007
trentini

Looks like there have been a few studies comparing environmental impact and hygene:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_dryer

Jury’s kinda out. Seems like paper towels are more hygenic and faster but significantly less environmentally friendly. It also states that paper towels cannot be recycled which was a surprise to me.

Bel, I tried using one sheet…no way can it dry my hands! Two will do the job but it takes a little longer. Three gives the best result but, in the interests of reducing waste, I’m going to try to use two from now on. 🙂

Also entering the discussion is the ‘next generation’ hand dryers that use extreme air pressure but for shorter durations. I discovered one at the gym not far from here and I gotta admit they’re pretty cool! They’re even more environmently friendly than existing hand dryers and are pretty effective (takes ~10 secs to dry). Maybe they’re the perfect hand drying option? Unfortunatley, although the running costs are lower the upfront cost is higher which may mean slower uptake in the market…

22 10 2007
trentini

Oh, and there’s this comparison, undertaken at Melboure Uni.

26 10 2007
Derren

Never mind the paper towel fascination… I’m really concerned about the fact you’re taking pictures inside gents’ toilets Matt. You can get arrested for that in some states in the US 😉

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