Why Electric Hand Dryers Are Bad – Beware Of "Feel Good" Marketing Speak

Electric Hand Dryer

Normally, I talk about being more productive during the day.  The premise is that you’ll enjoy your day and your career more when you’re more in command of your workload. Well, today ain’t gonna be a normal day.

Setting the Stage

I travel a lot – two to three times a month – giving presentations and seminars. As a result, I’m constantly in and out of airports. Now, there are many entertaining works on traveling and airports – for example  Dear American Airlines and Up In the Air – which I commend to you.

This piece focuses on a new aspect of travel that I find particularly irksome – the signage on electric hand dryers in airport restrooms imploring us to save trees by using the electric device instead of paper towels. Every time I see one of these, I want to take a sledge hammer to the electric hand dryer and swing for the fence!

Separating the Truth from the Marketing Speak

The stated benefit of electric hand dryers is that they reduce our use of paper products, which come from trees and fill up landfills. Simple enough, right? Truthful too, on it’s face. But let’s dig just below the surface to see if there’s a real benefit here or only a perceived one.