ESPM 3603 Assignment #1
Earth's environment has been increasing point of tension over the past decades, and people generally prefer environmental-friendly products. Likewise, hand-drying systems faced the same issue. People may have become well acquainted with following statement, which is written on dryers in restrooms.
Dryers help protect the environment. They save stress from being used for paper towels. They eliminate paper towel waste.
As reasonable as it may sound, the statement above is not based on reasonable inference. Although the statement is widely accepted by people, it is partly true, but partly false. The common belief is that hand dryers are environmentally sounder than paper towels because dryers reduce usage of tree, and dryers don't produce any paper waste. This is true, but there still remain many other factors to consider. Based on thorough evaluation by conducting LCA (Life Cycle Assessment), a new analysis for Dryers compared to various types of paper and cotton towels permits broader coverage of their environmental effect.
4 types of hand-drying products were compared in this post: A generic standard warm air dryer (a hands-under dryer), Generic cotton roll towels, Generic paper towels manufactured from 100% virgin content, and Generic paper towels manufactured from 100% recycled content. Unlike existing analyses, this experiment was accompanied by an elaborate method, LCA. This LCA adopted various perspectives such as global warming potential, human health, ecosystem quality, cumulative energy demand, water consumption, and land occupation.
I was able to draw three points from the LCA analysis. First, I was able to detect the main culprit of global warming potential and water consumption. Second, I figured out the overall environmental characteristics of each product. Finally, I found a sequence of the four products in terms of environmental effects. Regarding to global warming potential and...