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The Use of the Hand Dryer Can Save the Environment from the Devastating Environmental Impact of Paper Towels

It seems like a minor thing, but the paper towels that we use in our restrooms across the world have had devastating effects on our environment. Their usage has affected deforestation, global warming, and water pollution. The problem has been alleviated by the use of the hand dryer in many facilities across the globe.


Deforestation is defined as the permanent clearing of trees with no plan to replant. It takes 51,000 trees to replace the number of paper towels that are used in a single day.  Americans use 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year which results in the destruction of an astonishing 130 million trees. Many manufacturers use only virgin lumber from beautiful forests to produce the paper products instead of utilizing recycled materials and saving the forests. Thirty percent of the timber that is destroyed is used to make paper products. This is causing severe problems for countless wildlife because their habitat is being destroyed. For example, if the destruction of trees continues at the same place in the same area, caribou may be extinct in 40 years. Because of the ecological balance, if caribou becomes extinct it can cause a ripple effect in many other animal species. As long as we continue to use paper products at the same rate as we are currently, our North American rich forests will continue to be destroyed. The hand dryer can reduce the amount of paper towels used, thus reducing the number of trees destroyed.

Water Pollution

In order to make one ton of paper towels, 20,000 gallons of water gets polluted. Most paper towels are bleached with chlorine, which ends up releasing carcinogens such as dioxin and furans.

Global Warming

Global warming is becoming an increasingly serious problem that is being studied by environmentalists. It is a catastrophic even that is slowly becoming a reality. It will have far-reaching effects on civilization that may include the melting of the polar ice-caps, violent weather pattern changes, and the collapse of wildlife and vegetation. If we do not start doing the little things to prevent global warming, it may be too late and the effects of global warming may not be able to be reversed. Since the production of paper towels is the 3rd largest contributor to global warming, this is one area that can be easily limited by using the hand dryer.

The environment is being devastated by the use of paper towels and it is completely unnecessary. With the installation of hand dryers in restrooms, we can take huge strides toward reducing the amount of paper being used. This small step can make huge strides in making our environment better for many generations to come.

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