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Paper vs Electric hand drying


You raise a good question from three perspectives:

1. Where do you go to find the answer? EPA and DOE Web sites cannot.
Several hundred other Web sites did not. This is a basic and elementary,
consumer oriented question. Where do you find its answer?

2. The question reflects a VERY complex process for making decisions 
about something we do rather often during the course of a day. To 
provide an adequate answer, one has to look at the total life cycle
energy and environmental assessment to examine the total costs and
impacts of producing the paper, transporting the raw materials to
the paper producer, the finished product to the wholesaler and 
retailer to the customer (that could be a lot of fuel), the costs of 
disposing of the paper VS. the cost of manufacturing the hand dryer,
the cost of supplying the electricity to ship/purchase and install 
the unit, etc. 

3. If we REALLY want to do something to protect the environment and
conserve/protect our natural resources, we MUST evaluate all of 
options available to us. Life Cycle Analysis will be a major 
driving force for the type of information consumers will need to 
make educated decisions about how they will individually impact
the environment. There is a trickle-UP theory that comes into play:
If several individuals make a sound environmental/energy decision,
a "family" has made a quality of life decision. If several families
follow suit, a neighborhood has decided to change. If several
neighborhoods join ranks, a community realizes an environmental 
benefit. From community to city to county to state to country the 
progression of making a quality of life change to better the 
environment can happen.

This process has a name: Sustainability!

Thanks, Terry, for the opportunity!


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