Are electric hand dryers better for the environment than paper towels?

Illuminating answers to environmental questions.
June 17 2008 7:17 AM

Electric Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towels

How to keep your paws clean and green.

(Continued from Page 1)

But, to paraphrase Darth Vader from Star Wars, don't be too proud of using those technological marvels we've created. Opting for a hand dryer over towels hardly earns you an environmental halo, as the net difference in long-term carbon emissions is minuscule at best. It's useful to think about everyday behaviors, but let's not lose focus on big-picture stuff.

Is there an environmental quandary that's been keeping you up at night? Send it to, and check this space every Tuesday.

Brendan I. Koerner is a contributing editor at Wired and a columnist for Gizmodo. His first book, Now the Hell Will Start, is out now.