Miles Renwick & Ryan McMullen
The Reflection
Gull Lake HS
1st Place
Division 4, News Writing
Pro/Con Editorial Columns

It’s a no brainer, blow dryers blow away paper towels

Fall is the season of football, colors, holidays and students not washing their hands.  Student hygiene is very important, from the way you wash your hands, to the way you dry them. Drying your hands is a crucial part of good bathroom hygiene and keeping our school germ free.
This brings in the debate of the all important question of what is the better way to dry your hands. To me the answer is obvious because of all the benefits that hand dryers offer. While using hand dryers, you are single handedly helping save the environment by not using paper towel. Dryers save schools and other institutions about 5 to 15 percent of the amount of waste they produce.
Dryers, on a per bathroom basis, can save about $650 when replacing the traditional use of brown paper towel. Given that Gull Lake has about 20 bathrooms in the high school alone, the high school saves about $13,000 every year.
Using brown paper towel in a bathroom will increase litter by 250 percent. Students attempt to smush up a ball of paper towel and attempt to shoot it like a basketball into the trash can. Of course the student will miss because over 90 percent of the student body does not play basketball. The litter created by all of these missed shots cover the bathroom floor and are hazards to people walking in trying to use the bathroom in peace.
Paper towel is just a hassle for janitors. Janitors may forget to refill the paper towel dispensers and then what? Students will have to use shorts or jeans to dry their hand, then will be possibly bullied by other students for having an accident in the bathroom.
Having tested the hand dryers at Gull Lake, it took a student an average of a minute to dry their hands with the current hand dryers. A mere one minute out of the six minutes that students get for passing time. Given that the school has the bottom of the line hand dryers, a small investment in better dryers could improve the amount of time it takes.
Lastly, who would want to dry their hands with ugly colored paper towel that has been compared to sandpaper on numerous occasions. Brown paper towel absorbs about as much perspiration as a wet t-shirt.
By Ryan McMullen

Paper towels are love, paper towels are life…

The school’s hygiene is in crisis. People don’t wash their hands. The reason: students don’t have time to put their hands underneath an inefficient blow dryer for what seems like 15 minutes until their hands dry. If I had to estimate, the blowdryers at Gull Lake High School release about as much air as an eight-year-old trying to cool down chicken noodle soup.
Paper towels are a quick and efficient way to dry your hands. Sure, the operational cost for paper towels is a little higher than the blowdryers, but anyone who is anyone knows that students would wash and dry their hands if paper towels were provided in our bathrooms.
Don’t pull the “blowdryers are environmentally friendly” card on me, either. As a two year Environmental Club veteran, I know what’s good for the environment. People struggle to acknowledge that compostable paper towels exist. Want to know what’s bad for the environment? Wasting time drying your hands with the blow dryer while you could be outside helping the environment.
The old wet paper towel basketball game is an ageless phenomenon that is fun enough to encourage students to wash and more importantly dry their hands. As long as you complete the so-called “walk of shame” when you miss the shot and pick up the paper towel on the ground, then you are more than welcome to shoot some hoops with a paper towel in the bathroom.
I took the liberty to do a quick experiment in our bathrooms. It took approximately 53 seconds to dry your hands with a blowdryer. With a paper towel? Under 20 seconds. When you’re in a rush, there’s no point in waiting for the blowdryers. This is precisely why people storm into classrooms with their gross wet hands.
According to HealthDay, blow dryers emit over four times more germs and bacteria than a paper towel. Do you like germs and bacteria spreading on your hands? Didn’t think so. Use paper towels and help prevent the spread of germs throughout the high school.
By Miles Renwick