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Monthly Archives: April 2009

Do You Really Need All the Gadgets?

I admit it. It’s nice having all the gadgets around the house that make life just a little bit simpler. But have you ever given thought to which ones you really need? Ever thought about how much money you can save by not buying them? By not using the ones that require electricity?

Not all gadgets do, of course.

Electric can openers are one gadget I find to be pretty unnecessary. Cans aren’t that hard to open. I can see where you might want some help if you have hand or wrist issues, such as carpal tunnel, but otherwise?

Electric mixers are another thing I don’t see as necessary very often. They’re great for some uses, but most days if I need to mix something, a spoon or whisk works just fine. Although my kids do grumble if it’s a treat and there aren’t any beaters to lick when I make a treat.

Out in the yard, leaf blowers just horrify me. Such a waste of fuel, not to mention loud! Get a broom, start sweeping. Just like hanging clothes out on the clothesline, it’s good exercise as well as good for the environment.

All that said, yes, I love my breadmaker, which certainly counts as a gadget. Ditto my rice maker, which frees me from having to time rice cooked on the stove so carefully. I could get along without them, but they do legitimately make my life easier. The breadmaker in particular means that I am willing to make bread at home, which I probably wouldn’t try (aside from banana bread and zucchini bread) without it.

And that’s because some gadgets are good. It’s hard to determine where you should balance between the energy efficiency of a specialized gadget and using more power. You have an oven most likely, but that doesn’t mean a toaster isn’t a better choice for making toast. Takes a lot more power to heat the oven. However, so did making the toaster.

So how do you decide? What’s a worthwhile gadget? What’s unnecessary?

Are Plastic Water Bottles Safe?

ShareThere’s been a lot of controversy in recent times about the presence of  Bisphenol-A (BPA) in certain kinds of plastic. According to a new study from scientists in Germany, kinds of plastic that were previously thought safe may also contain substances that interfere with reproductive hormones. The results aren’t definite yet, but it’s something to… Continue Reading

Is the Solution to Colony Collapse Disorder Getting Near?

ShareIt’s been a while since I’ve written about colony collapse disorder. It’s still out there, still a very scary thing, but I hadn’t seen much interesting news on it. But today I came across two stories on it and the work being done to solve it. For those unfamiliar with colony collapse disorder, it’s a… Continue Reading

Should You Avoid Food Additives and Coloring?

ShareAs a rule, I like to cook from scratch. Mostly because I enjoy it, but also because I like knowing what goes into the foods I feed my family. That’s not to say I don’t allow any packaged foods at all; my husband remains hooked on boxed mac n’ cheese, and so the kids love… Continue Reading

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