Green Hand Dryers

Project Leads: Grace Horvath

Sponsor: Engineers for a Sustainable World 

TGIF Grant: $500.00

Project Theme: Waste Reduction

Project Location

2014 Application Submission

Status: In Progress

Project Description: A life cycle assessment (LCA) will compare paper towels versus hand dryers in the dorms. Economics, waste generation, and carbon emissions will all be looked at in the LCA. First, data will be collected involving the current number of times people in the dorms dry their hands. The total cost of paper towel usage will be calculated. Then, based on the number times hands are dried, the cost of hand dryers will be found including both electricity and installation. The environmental impact will be compared as well, taking into account every step in paper towel and hand dryer manufacture, electricity, transportation, and composting. Sustainable Minds software will be used in the LCA, and the TGIF grant will be used to purchase this software.


  1. Determine whether paper towels or electric hand dryers are more sustainable and economical.
  2. If hand dryers are found to be the better option (in both aspects), the team will attempt to persuade the university to switch to hand dryers in the dorms. A presentation of findings and a petition will be used to try to convince the university to switch to hand dryers. 
Project Updates

1.  Are currently researching the Dyson air blade model
2.  Working on looking into which hand dryers already exist on campus and analyzing their efficiency
3. Designed stickers and posters for bathrooms that will be used in the bathrooms that receive hand dryers
4. Starting to contact building managers

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.