Wet Hand Luke

Monday, December 30, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

As global warming opponents are less and less being argued against, and more and more laughed at, the world is getting greener.  Maybe not in the big picture sense, but at least in the superficial short term, it seems Americans are making a token effort to not destroy the planet at quite as rapid a pace as we have previously established.  Kudos, by the way.

But, the implementation of said green initiatives, to me, feels remarkably capitalist.  Shocker.  I will concede that perhaps more than other sector of big business (outside of perhaps lightbulb manufacturers), the car industry seems to be most genuine in the shift of both its paradigm as well as its fuel sources.  Then again, being bailed out and bought by the federal government can have a motivating effect on one's business plan.  

Outside of the automotive arena, however, green initiatives dot the landscape like a beginner hits the dart board: All over the place.  The difference, of course, being that the environmental scores are decidedly less random.  

For example.  It seems to me that the one wholesale green idea that has been implemented in most of today's malls, movie theaters and airports is the suggestion to no longer have paper towels in public bathrooms.  There is one-ply toilet paper in the stalls and then those hand blowing machines.  I agree in reducing the amount of paper goods we utilize in our day to day.  I do.  I rarely use paper cups and I only take as many napkins as I actually plan to use.  But the pre-mature extinction of the public bathroom paper towel has two fundamental flaws.

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The first issue, is that wind hand drying technology has not vastly improved over the past 20 years.  And yes, I have seen those fancy new 'high-powered air squeegee" car-wash style hand dryers.  After swiping my mitts along the instructed sequence three times, my hands still felt . . . damp.  Decidedly un-dry. You shouldn't feel the need to wipe dry hands on your t-shirt, which is what I've ended up doing after any attempts at wind powered desiccation.  

The second overlooked angle when ridding bathrooms of their outbound absorbent materials is that some crazy human beings actually use sinks to wash their hands and face.  I do this regularly.  Especially after a long plane ride.  Now, however, when I turn with a dripping face and paws to dry myself, I am confronted with the bent metal end of a low-powered hair-dryer, attached to an R2D2-like box, attached to the wall.  First, I must take my wet hand and bend the circular opening so it is facing upward.  Then, with a punch of the comically large button, the medium-hot air sludge comes flowing at me like the creature from the black lagoon.  If I somehow manage to suppress the knowledge that the air spitting at me smells like it was filtered through middle-schoolers' gym clothes, I then must wrestle with the wind-machine-like upstream of air.  More often than not, after only a superficial drying of my face, my hair gets blow clear back to the 80's.  Sometimes feathered, sometimes wavy, my hair always would fit in as an extra from the mean streets of Miami Vice.  I am not amused.

So yay to reducing our reliance on paper products.  But, as we eliminate the high cost of materials that get immediately disposed of, the hope is that we replace those materials with what I believe Obama keeps referring to as "our investment in new technologies." And that's pretty broad.  LOTS of wiggle room there to engender success.  To truly reduce our reliance on paper goods, we have to make their use anachronistic, which entails replacing those products with far superior and more globally responsible ones.

May I suggest we start in the bathroom? 

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