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Stuff you don't need, Vol. I

By Blogger for The Christian Science Monitor / April 7, 2008

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Don't get me wrong: I like civilization. I'm not one of these people who thinks that the only way to save the planet is for everyone to return to the paleolithic. Go live in the wilderness if you must, but for me there are some trappings of industrial society that I'd prefer not to go without. Pants come immediately to mind, and I'm sure there are other things.

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That said, there are some consumer goods out there that are so utterly pointless and belligerently wasteful that they make me question the very notion of human progress. What sort of civilization, I find myself asking, would produce such a thing?

Take, for instance, the gasoline-powered blender.

It turns out this thing is not unique. A quick Google search reveals a number of competing purveyors of gas-powered blenders. There's a gas-powered blender industry, complete with trade shows, brochures, sales and marketing teams, the whole puréed enchilada, all devoted to ensuring that you can whip up an Orange Julius on your front lawn without an extension cord.

Anyway, I'm hoping that S.Y.D.N. will become a regular feature on this blog, but I can't do it without your help. Click here to let me know about your favorite ecologically destructive consumer product.

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