After washing my hands in the bathroom earlier today at Green:Net, I hesitated and eventually decided against using a paper towel. The reason? A company called WattzOn posted energy consumption facts above the towel dispenser.
According to the sign, one towel has 62,170 joules of embodied energy. That's .0007% of WattzOn's recommendation of a "10,000 watt lifestyle." The total embodied energy takes into account paper creation, manufacturing, transportation, and disposal. (No word on whether this includes the environmental cost of the sign.)
As noted in my previous post about carbon IDs, this inaugural meetup of green-minded techies is turning out to be a showcase for the power of easily accessible data to change our behavior.
WattzOn's energy consumption reminders aren't limited to the bathroom. The company, which maintains an online tool to calculate personal power consumption, has also posted facts about soda, water, juice, and all the various foods available here. The whole thing is making me want to sit here monk-like all day. Should I even be posting this article given how much power it's consuming?
The WattzOn scheme may be limited to green conferences for now, but don't be surprised if before too long you find energy-consumption stats on the paper towels in your house.
Related link: Live at the Green:Net Conference: What's Your Carbon ID?
Related link: Attack of the Green-Tech Geeks