This alternative was brought to our attention by conscience-driven researcher and blogger, Michele Mutchek. Michele conducted extensive, formal (non-peer reviewed) research comparing the Giottos Air Rocket Blaster and the 3M Dust Remover (compressed air can). Her findings and commentary are published in her blog “Neuroplastastic”, which serves to share information for “promoting grassroots sustainability and health” . Thank you, Michele!
If its not you, most of us know someone addicted to compressed air gas dusters to clean computer keyboards and external accessories and components. While a compressor may be conveniently available at your school or office and feel gratifying to use – especially for those of us on the fastidious side – its contents wreak havoc on the environment. More specifically, use of the gas compressed duster has a greater impact on the environment over its relatively short life cycle than this naturally emitted, air-only alternative, which can be used for years. Though gas compressed air dusters usually claim to be ozone-friendly because they have no CFCs or HCFCs some contain (or entirely consist of) tetraflouroethane, which is a greenhouse gas that, over a 20-year period, is over 3, 000 times more effective at trapping heat versus carbon dioxide. They also typically contain diflouroethane, which, over the same period of 20 years has a climate changing effect that is over 300 times the effect of carbon dioxide. To put the benefits of switching from compressed air dusters in better perspective, the long-term effect post use of a typical 10 oz can of compressed air is the equivalent of burning 100 gallons of gasoline. (source: Sightline Daily)
If that is not enough, packaging of this alternative is better: it is encased in rubber which can be actively recycled- versus an aluminum/plastic aerosol canister, which cannot be recycled. Ergonomically, it’s easy to use and its tripod base allows the rocket to stand up for simple storage versus the can with an airflow straw attached jutting out at 90 degrees. While the rocket’s air stream is not nearly as strong as the release of compressed air, it does a fine job of blowing out dust particles and small debris that get stuck in tiny places. And, it works even when static electricity competes to keep debris clinging. Because the air stream emitted from the rocket is controlled and not overly powerful, and because it does not emit liquid gases, the device is popular to clean photo, video and precision optical equipment, as well as both traditional and electrical musical instruments. The rockets also come in different sizes to best suit the equipment being cleaned. So, while this item is not a household staple, word should spread to replace the use of compressors with this option and find a means to recycle the rubber after years of use. Undoubtedly, it is a better value and sustainable option to be able to reuse this natural tool versus buying multiple cans of greenhouse gases. Though, there is an improvement that is worth mentioning: we are hoping the manufacturer can find a strategy to produce the item domestically.
Giottos Air Rocket Blaster photo: © 2013 My Conscience, My Choice LLC
Innovera® Compressed Gas Duster photo: source Amazon
- No greenhouse gases emitted
- Packaging is non-hazardous waste, unlike other aerosol cans
- Recyclable at accepting facilities
- No potential for abusive use
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