Science Decibel: Hand-Dryers vs. Paper Towels.

Science Decibel: Hand-Dryers vs. Paper Towels.

Jasmine and Chrissy from NIU STEAM are discussing the environmental impacts of paper hand towels versus electric hand dryers on The Sound of Science on WNIJ. They address a question from Cheryl in Wisconsin about the better option for the environment. They explain that when considering the environmental impacts and sustainability of products, factors such as manufacturing, transportation, usage, and disposal must be taken into account.

In terms of hand dryers, they mention the use of metal and plastic materials in manufacturing, as well as transportation and electricity usage. Although hand dryers have a longer lifespan of 7 to 10 years, their biggest impact on the environment comes from the electricity required to run them. However, newer models are more efficient and use less power, reducing their carbon emissions.

On the other hand, paper towels are single-use items that generate a significant amount of waste in both landfills and within facilities. The production of paper towels requires more energy and generates more waste and pollution compared to hand dryers. Additionally, when paper towels are disposed of, they are often thrown away in plastic bags, adding to the overall environmental impact.

In conclusion, while both paper hand towels and electric hand dryers have environmental impacts, hand dryers may be a better option in terms of sustainability due to their longer lifespan, lower energy usage, and less waste generated. Thank you for listening to The Sound of Science on WNIJ, where you learn something new every day.

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