The New Home Economics

photo above by whiteafrican photo on right by Wayan Vota

So what is this simple, elegantly designed object? It’s a bottle opener from Africa as seen on one of our favorite blogs, AfriGadget. Tough times call for elemental solutions, not to mention popping the cap off a beer.

And speaking of tough times and ingenuity, with our economy continuing to meltdown and unemployment on the rise (check out this youtube interview with author Nasim Nicholas Taleb and mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot for a real scare), we’ve begun to see sudden interest in the long forgotten topic of home economics. A good example of this new home economics is 30 bucks a week, the recipes and strategies of a couple in Brooklyn attempting to limit their grocery bills to, yes, just $30 a week.

But back to that African beer bottle opener pictured above. Yes, it exists in the context of poverty, but it’s also a symbol of hope, of facing adversity with resourcefulness, a sense of style and play.

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  1. awesome. now i can make xmas gifts with all the scrap bamboo i have left over and the extra screws i have left over. simple and easy and perfect for the starving student

  2. Hey, thanks so much for the link! Actually, some of inspiration for this project came after order and reading The Urban Homestead a few months back. Specifically, your chapter on radical home economics is terrific for starting to invest more time (and less money) in your relationship with food, even if you rent an apartment in a big city like we do.

    We’ve also had a couple of false starts with composing and container gardening on the fire escape – we were undone by marauding packs of sadistic squirrels. Like you say in the book, intractable.

  3. just made one from some scrap bamboo and a screw(just like i said i would). I posted a picture under my bamboo post. I used it and it is SERIOUSLY JUST as easy to use as a regular bottle opener. no more using the edge of my cel. phone as a bottle opener.

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