Sunday, June 15, 2008
Sustainable Living Tip
1. One rechargeable battery can replace up to 1,000 disposable batteries.
2. According to the EPA, Americans purchase 3,000,000,000 (three billion) batteries every year.
3. For pollution-free recharging, choose "green electricity" (made in Maine from hydropower and wind facilities). Or choose a battery charger with a built-in solar panel or adapters for plugging in to a solar panel.
4. Small disposable alkaline batteries (sizes AAA, AA, C and D) start at above 1.5 volts and drop unevenly to 1.0 volts during discharge, whereas nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries stay at a relatively constant 1.2 volts for most of their discharge cycle.
5. A nine volt battery is six smaller 1.5 volt batteries wired in series.
6. Older types of NiMH rechargeable batteries would self-discharge at about 1% per day, requiring frequent recharges. Newer NiMH batteries lose only about 0.07% of their charge per day, making them much more practical for many uses.
7. NiMH rechargeable batteries are qualified as non-hazardous.
8. Lithium ion rechargeable batteries (typically used in laptops and cell phones) are also qualified as non-hazardous.
9. The older nickel cadmium (NiCad) rechargeable batteries are hazardous and must be disposed of as household hazardous waste. Avoid this type of battery if possible.
10. Lead acid rechargeable batteries (typically used in cars and uninterruptible power supplies) are hazardous and should be recycled.
11. Disposable alkaline batteries manufactured before 1996 could contain mercury and should be considered potentially hazardous.