Power Up With Rechargeable Batteries

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This holiday season, a simple way to go green is to purchase rechargeable batteries instead of disposable alkaline batteries for electronic devices and toys. Alkaline batteries typically contain trace amounts of mercury and other elements, so they should be handled as hazardous waste upon disposal.

Although they may cost more to buy, rechargeable batteries will save you 10-20 times the original cost (by not buying new batteries over and over again).

Rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries are available in common sizes of AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt. Rechargeable Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are made for digital cameras that specifically note in the camera’s user’s manual that it will use different types (chemistries) of batteries. Rechargeable NiCd batteries are not environmentally preferred because they contain cadmium, a highly toxic heavy metal, that can damage the environment if not disposed of properly. (They should be recycled, not discarded). Rechargeable NiMH and Li-ion batteries do not contain cadmium.

If you want instant gratification and can’t wait for your new rechargeable batteries to get charged, there are ready-to-use or pre-charged, Ultra Low Self Discharge (ULSD) NiMH rechargeable batteries on the market for your convenience. ULSDs have a longer shelf life than standard NiMH batteries, and can be charged in typical NiMH chargers.

Of course, you’ll need a charger for those rechargeable batteries, which you can find online or at retailers. For avid environmentalists, solar powered chargers are available too, although they tend to charge a bit slower than electrical ones.

How do you dispose of rechargeable batteries when their long lifespan of hundreds of recharges is over? Recycling is the only way to go. Most stores that sell rechargeable batteries accept spent batteries and will have them recycled.

I use them to power my digital camera and have been very happy with their performance and longevity.

photo courtesy of Green Batteries

Tag(s): For Kids, Gift Ideas, Going Green, Hazardous Products / Health Issues, Money Saving


One Response to “Power Up With Rechargeable Batteries”

  1. Lynda Lo on December 3rd, 2008 3:05 pm

    I have already purchased a bunch of these batteries for the holiday season. And previously for video game stuff. I also found USB batteries that can be charged through my computer.

    I really want to keep green this holiday season – especially with my gifts.

    Aside from keeping paper wrapping to a minimum I am trying to come up with cool green presents for everyone on my list – whether they are green living people or not.

    My primary resource so far for ideas has been http://www.sweetguides.ca they really do a great job of balancing interesting presents with ecofriendliness.

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