Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hand Drier Project

I am currently writing a grant proposal for a hand drier pilot that i've dreamed up. When I first arrived at Penn, I was pretty surprised to see who few hand driers had been installed - almost 0! I had previously worked on a project at my high school to replace all paper towels in the bathrooms with hand driers. There was some push back, a few odes to the noisy things, a few haiku's that people taped onto them, but people adjusted just fine - wiping their hands on their skirts if they were too scared that the Xcelerators would blow off their skin. 

When I heard about the Green Fund Grant here at Penn, I immediately thought about the hand drier project. Sharing a bathroom with an entire hall in my freshman dorm means using paper towels to dry my hands after going to the bathroom. I've now switched to just watching my hands in my dorm room and using my towel there, as long as there's no one else in the bathroom, for fear that they might think that I don't wash my hands at all. My proposal involves replacing paper towels with hand driers in 5-10 bathrooms in my dorm as a pilot, and then potentially expanding it to the entire campus if it is financially sustainable. I am currently debating between Xcelerators and the Dyson Airblade. The Xcelerators tend to be rather noisy, but definitely effective. I think it will mostly come down to cost. 

I've never written an official grant proposal, so it's been an interesting learning process. I'm meeting with my dean tomorrow and then will set up a meeting with Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) soon. I really hope this project gets off the ground! Suggestions are welcome! 

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