environmental citizens organization

Batteries – beyond recycling

With the recent widespread power outages, many households were running headlamps and flashlights all evenings for many days.

EcoCaledon pioneered battery recycling in Caledon, and we have many depots as listed in a previous blog post. Remember though – Recycle is the last and least environmentally friendly of the 3 Rs- Here are my suggestions to Reduce and Re-use batteries:

Around our household and my office there are countless battery-powered devices, but almost all of them now run on rechargeable batteries. There are several types of rechargeable AA and AAA batteries, but the uncontested champion is the low-discharge NiMH. These special batteries do not lose their charge rapidly as most others do, but hold a charge for over a year, and are sold pre-charged. I have changed all my AA and AAAs to Sanyo Eneloop and Duracell Low-Self-discharge batteries. They are a great money saver too in the long run.

We ran our headlamps on rechargeable Li-ion battery packs during the outage, and I used them to recharge cell phones and other electronics. Many items are now available with built-in rechargeable batteries, and it makes sense to look for these when possible.

One place we still use disposable batteries is in smoke detectors and CO detectors, items that squawked a lot due to fluctuating power and need a long-life 9v battery. I look forward to versions of these in the future with better rechargeable batteries built-in.

For 2014, how about a resolution to re-use, reduce and re-charge batteries?

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