Over the holidays, I travelled home to Wisconsin for some family and golf time. As usual, this means at least one stop at an Illinois Tollway Oasis for a pitstop, snack, and some gas. In the men's bathroom, I found something that I don't see that often - not only had they removed paper towels in this VERY busy bathroom, but they had created hand dryer signs to explain why hand dryers can be a great alternative. First off, here's the photo of the hand dryer (these are Turbo-Dri hand dryers from American Specialties or ASI).
You can see the sign above the dryer...this is the Tollway's sign to explain why they chose hand dryers over paper towels despite the high volume of the bathrooms. The sign gives a visual description of all of the different ways that paper towels are bad for the environment, from manufacture to transportation to waste disposal. Here's a closer look at the sign:
It's a little hard to see, but it shows trees going into a paper mill that is polluting a river, then trucks delivering them to a warehouse, then to the Oasis, and then more trucks hauling out the garbage to the dump. The caption reads, "We like paper towels too, but hand dryers are the better choice for our environment and future generations."
They had 3 hand dryers in the bathrooms, and I've never seen a line for them. You do start to see this kind of messaging around the country, and I'm sure many people are skeptical of them. Still, they do help people understand what is obvious...that hand dryers can help us reduce our overall carbon footprint.