Unitasker Wednesday: The impact of unitaskers

Almost every week we publish a post about a unitasker. Unitaskers generally serve only one function (uni-task) and whose function could easily be replaced by another item that you already have.

Some unitaskers are useful if they improve safety, or save time, effort, or money. Occasionally we have featured items that would have no benefit to most people but be very useful to someone with special needs (e.g., Staybowlizer, electric corkscrew). From time to time, we feature items that are beyond extravagant such as a $1500 silver coffee can.

We have also featured some gag gifts like the Turn & Churn (which is just an empty box) and the flying, screaming, sling-shot monkey. We tell our readers that we do not want them to buy these items, but to laugh at their ridiculousness.

This article by George Monbiot nicely explains the economic and environmental impact of unitasker and gag gifts. It is entitled The Gift of Death, but Death to Unitaskers would also be an appropriate title.

This holiday season, we may be tempted to purchase a unitasker or “gag gift” for someone that seems to have everything already. It might trigger a belly laugh when it is opened and perhaps a few minutes of enjoyment during the next few days. But in the long run, the item will just gather dust in the recipient’s home until it ends up in a thrift shop (maybe) and finally the landfill. Please dear readers, reconsider your gift of clutter. The best present is your presence.

6 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: The impact of unitaskers”

  1. posted by infmom on

    One of these days you will get over your insane prejudice against toaster tongs. 🙂

  2. posted by Kenneth in Virginia on

    I had been thinking of mentioning that an ordinary toaster qualifies as a “unitasker” but this seems like the best time to bring it up.

  3. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    Yes. A toaster does one thing — it toasts. If you never eat toast, it would be considered a unitasker just as a coffee maker would be considered a unitasker for someone who never drinks coffee.

    If you use a unitasker at least several days per week, and it performs the designated function better than any other item you own, then for you, it would be a valuable item to keep. For someone else (the non-toast eaters, non-coffee drinkers) the toaster and coffee makers would be clutter.

  4. posted by Evelyn on

    My toaster is a toaster oven and does multiple things.

  5. posted by Mander on

    I have started taking photos of such things when I see them and sending them to the person who would find them amusing via WhatsApp or similar. Satisfies the urge to share, you get the gag gift impact, and it stays on the shelf.

  6. posted by G. on

    I hope Unitasker Wednesday stays a continuing feature here. Sadly, I suspect there will be enough material for a long time to come. A great part of reading Wednesday posts is reading how commenters that have *and use* the item regularly defend it.

    @Mander – I like the idea of sending a photo of a gag gift instead.

Leave a Comment