A Fan of Keeping Cool

It has been hotter than Hades lately. Whether or not global warming is the cause, hot is hot. The average person spends more than 40% of their time in non-air conditioned spaces, and when they return home, the AC is pumped up to full speed, which is a decided energy drain. So, in the spirit of sustainability, it’s time to bring back hand fans, like they did in Japan during a severe heatwave of 2011, when power-saving was a national priority.

Japanese fans, known as “uchiwa” have been popular for ages. The one below (circa 1950s) is an example of how multi-functional a fan can be as advertising platform (for cool, refreshing beer) and personal cooler.

Craftsmen in Marugame city, Kagawa prefecture, still make 90% of Japanese fans. According to London’s The Telegraph, on average 36,000 fans are produced every day (the figure is determined by an association of fan makers in the region). Now that’s a cool way to harness wind power.

(If you missed this past Weekend Heller go here.)

Japanese fan

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