Research showed that more than half of the hand dryers installed in public bathrooms in Seoul City subway stations and parks, etc., are wasting electricity when they emit warm wind in the scorching summer weather.
Hand dryers are prone to be plugged in 24hours; power should be cut off when they are not in use to prevent wastage of standby power, but one out of three hand dryers that were researched showed that their power sockets are reclaimed, which made unplugging impossible.
Seoul Metropolitan Government unplugged all hand dryers in their offices as of the end of June. Korean Railroad Corporation’s Western Metropolitan Headquarter also decided to unplug some hand dryers in their 300-something bathrooms in 82stations during their special summertime energy conservation period (6.1~9.20).
Together with the Citizens’ Coalition for Restroom Culture, Seoul Metropolitan Government is waging the campaign to use handkerchiefs instead of hand dryers and paper towels. The『Let’s Use Handkerchief Campaign』involves putting 10,000 “using my handkerchief: a small action to conserve energy” stickers in public bathrooms in public facilities, department stores, subway station, park, etc., handing out handkerchiefs, etc.
“Using hand dryers that emit warm wind, which is unseasonal, will not only be inconvenient for users but also has negative consequences since it puts more load on air conditioning and consequently causes electricity shortage. Therefore, Seoul Metropolitan Government has unplugged all bathroom hand dryers of our offices as of June 27,” a source at Seoul Metropolitan Government said. He urged people to join the campaign, adding that using handkerchiefs instead of hand dryers or paper towels will save electricity and our forests.