One of my favourite series, growing up, was Little House on the Prairie. Sure I read the Sleepover Friends and Babysitters’ Club. But Little House on the Prairie was enjoyable through all stages of my development. It was the ideal life, not because it was easy, but because of the honest work involved in living each day.
These days we have conveniences the Ingalls family never thought would exist. Wash machines and dryers? No, you washed your clothes by hand and dried them outside, even in winter. If you didn’t have a line, you would spread them on the grass to dry. I still remember the family grinding wheat in their coffee grinder, twisting and turning out enough for bread, during the winter they almost starved and froze.
Through the years I have been searching for my own coffee grinder. Make no mistake, I have an electric one (after all, freshly ground coffee is superior to stale grounds) but I always wanted one that used my power to grind.
I eventually found one, though to be fair, I haven’t used it much. I should really use it more. It gives your forearms a little work.
And can openers? For some reason, electric can openers get my goat. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re cheap and simply refuse to work after awhile, or if I lack the can opening gene.
As a result, I love my hand-held can opener. It makes me feel frugal and thrifty. Imagine if everyone in the world ditched their can openers for a good, hand-held one! Why, who knows how many kilowatt hours that would save! That would be less coal burned to generate power (and less money transferred from your pocket to Emera’s shareholders.)
My tip: to be frugal, you have to invest in a decent can opener, not a cheap dollar store one. Mine was 12 bucks at a gourmet store. However, it’s lasted for years and works so well, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try this in the first place.
Sometimes we’re helpless to hold back the tide of massive energy production; however, being aware of what you can do without plugging in an appliance can help you realize how dependant we are on electricity. (Just wait until the next power failure and try opening a can of beans with Electric Bessy. I’ll bet the handheld one looks better and better!)
Find other ways to use human power instead of electricity. Deny Nova Scotia Power your energy consumption. Just fuel up with meat and potatoes!
Of course, be practical. One of my neighbours, with about an acre of grass, tried to go green by buying a rotary lawn mower. You know the kind: blades powered by humans instead of smelly gas.
While the sentiment was worth applauding, you have to be practical. These mowers are best suited to small city lawns.
My neighbour gave up and eventually bought a gas powered push mower.
Sometime thereafter he bought a ride on.
Will changing to hand-powered items alter your life dramatically? No. Of course not. But it will remind you that power has allowed us to become utterly lazy, even when it comes to opening our Zoodles.