Energy Efficiency

Save on Batteries and Avoid Heavy Metal Consumption

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Picking the right electronics and accessories can save you money on batteries, and aid in minimising the amount of lead and mercury, that can make its way back into your food or drinking water.

The Three Main Types of Batteries used in Modern Electronics:

Alkaline batteries are among the most common and the shortest lived; their contents are generally less toxic than the others, although they are still hazardous enough to cause injury to exposed skin.

Silver Oxide batteries are often found in the form of button cells, used in small low-drain devices like watches. Silver oxide batteries often contain mercury and their contents are very toxic.

Lithium batteries are found in rechargeable and single-use forms, and have some of the longest life spans. Lithium batteries vary greatly in composition, depending on their uses, and are found in anything from keychains to hybrid cars.

Be mindful of the electronics you own when replacing their batteries: A device like a digital camera or television remote, that take AA sized batteries and enjoy an already slow drain, will have a much greater battery life when fed with lithium batteries, than with standard alkaline batteries, while an older incandescent bulb flashlight would not get the same benefit, and would be better off with the standard alkaline batteries.

Avoid impulse purchases with electronics: The LED keychain light may seem like a steal, but will use a lot of batteries, and you must think of the impact it will have on your budget, and also the environment,

When making major electronic purchases with rechargeable batteries, look for lithium polymer batteries. Lithium polymer batteries enjoy a longer lifespan than older technology lithium ion batteries, in terms of recharge and discharge cycles, along with being more resistant to destabilising physical damage.

When looking for a new watch, consider an automatic winding, or other mechanical watch. An automatic watch is powered by your own movement, contains no electronic elements, and often will enjoy a longer lifespan than a similar battery-powered watch. Purely mechanical watches are making a resurgence in popularity, and affordable offerings for men may be had by manufacturers like Seiko, Invicta, and Fossil. Women may have to dig a little harder, but older vintage models may still be found.

Keep track of your used batteries, and enquire with local recyclers or your local government, for ways to properly dispose of them as hazardous waste. Many municipalities sponsor events or programmes, where materials not suitable for general trash may be safely disposed.

Be persistent in locating information of proper battery disposal in your area, you may want to consult the environmental protection agency, if local agencies are short on information.

Make your friends and family aware of how to properly dispose of batteries, keep batteries away from young children who may attempt to eat them

Battery chemicals are toxic: At a minimum, burns are possible from exposure; batteries containing mercury, and silver oxide batteries, do contain cancer-causing chemicals.

Avoid opening sealed electronic devices to examine or change their batteries: Botched attempts to open devices may puncture the battery, or older neglected batteries may develop leaks on their own.
It is difficult to judge the age of batteries that come with devices, even newly purchased devices, and it can be dangerous to assume the battery must be of recent manufacture, if you intend to open the device.