Batteries: a necessary evil can be less evil

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Before we all became environmentally enlightened, batteries were fairly simple. We bought whatever size we needed. We put them in whatever we needed them for, and when they stopped working, we threw them in the trash. I shudder to think how many people still do that. Batteries are a hazardous waste and should never be simply taken to the trash.

I suppose every municipality has some kind of drop off place for hazardous wastes–including batteries, electronic equipment of all kinds, paint, and many household cleaners. At least, I certainly they do. Some kind of hazardous waste collection would be handy, but I haven’t heard of any place that offers it. So if we use regular batteries, we need to have a box that we can put the spent ones in (along with other hazardous wastes) until we have enough to justify a trip to the disposal site.

Rechargeable batteries

Rechargeable NiHM batteries
At least fifteen years ago I got a book of suggestions for living greener. One of its suggestions was to use rechargeable batteries. At the time, it was not one of the new habits I chose to form. For one thing, I don’t recall seeing them in stores, and that was way before I ever bought anything online.

Nowadays, I do see rechargeable batteries in stores, but so far only the AA size. That size works fine for my clocks, some of my flashlights, my electric toothbrush, etc. It doesn’t work in the smoke alarms and plenty of other things that require batteries.

Of course, in order to use rechargeable batteries, you need an appropriate battery charger for each size battery. Sure enough, right next to all those rechargeable AA batteries I’ve seen in stores, there are chargers for AA batteries. Unless I have simply been looking in the wrong place, the only place to find other sizes of rechargeable batteries and battery chargers is online.

By the way, there are chargers for several batteries of a single size and others for at least one battery of every size. With online stores, such as my own Eco-Friendly Home Products, finding just the right green product for your home or small business has never been easier.


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