by AUTUMN MACDONALD
Naturally, as a Environmental Studies Major I would like to put my two cents in about the infamous Dyson air dryers that are new(ish) to Augustana.
The new air hand dryers which have been peppered around campus are known as the “Dyson Airblade V” model. Benefits of the Airblade V are plenty as showcased on the Dyson website. HEPA filters installed make it the most hygienic brand model out there catching 99.97% of particles the size of bacteria as small as 0.3 microns, which is pretty small stuff according to science (I’m a Bachelor of Arts, gimme a break!).
Using this model saves almost $1430 a year in maintenance and operation costs compared to paper towel dispensers. Less paper towels means less paper waste and less stuff in the landfill. I’m down for that! Also, the lower power grading of the Airblade and shorter drying time (10-12 seconds) minimizes energy use.
Of course this leads us to the great paper towel and hand dryer debate. Paper towels don’t use electricity to dry hands but they require manufacturing in high quantities and then regular transportation compared to a stationary hand dryers. The Airblade only produces 2.4g of CO2 per day in grams resulting in 79% less than other hand dryers and 76% than paper towels which contribute 13.9g of CO2 per day according to Dyson calculations*. *Dyson’s experts break down their calculation process on their website and not gonna lie, it seems pretty sound to me!
Ok, what about sound? This is the primary concern of the average Augustinian. Especially when guest lectures or public events in the forum are being held when sometimes talking is interrupted by the distant sound of air blowing and a “Oh, there goes Dyson again!” Well, the Airblade V are Noise Abatement Society tested and approved… they even have a Quiet Mark award.
So all in all, I think we should embrace the Dyson life now. And really, hand driers that exist today are significantly better environmentally than 10 years ago. Really, they used to be A LOT more loud.