Day Hack: The Transition To 100% Rechargeable Batteries At Home

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This post is a part of a new Day Hack series where we will share quick hacks you can implement today.

We had the opportunity for a fresh start this year and are looking at it as a way to start fresh with so many things. We are buying far more used clothes from thrift stores and eBay than we used to, buying organic, durable clothing from responsible companies like Patagonia, skipping the natural gas lines in our home in favor of fully-electric options and using only rechargeable batteries.

Rechargeable batteries seem like a small change, but most things we in life are just that. As we learn more, we take one or two steps in the right direction. Having spent several years geocaching – which is essentially just hiking around on trails with a GPS looking for small boxes – as a way to get myself out into nature, I had been through my fair share of batteries.

Years of testing and abuse of rechargeable batteries and checking my data against my fellow ‘cachers, I settled on Eneloop batteries as the most durable high capacity batteries available. Yes, they are expensive, but the durability of the cells paid for itself in not having to worry about the wrapper coming off, individual cells dying or the state of charge dropping off after a few weeks in my bag.

When we rebooted our life a few months back, I took the opportunity to go all in on rechargeable batteries and naturally went right back to Eneloop. We bought a nice starter pack that had a nice variety of cells and adapters as well as a charger and a few weeks later, picked up a pack of loose cells for all of our devices.

One of the big mindset changes that comes with rechargeable batteries is to remember – and to tell everyone in the household – not to throw them away. Eneloop has a new cell that helps with this, as it is bright orange. Granted, it’s still possible for them to end up in the trash but it at least provides a nice pop as a reminder not to toss them. I also try to keep a lock on the freshly charged batteries as a means of making sure that I get a set of spent batteries for each new set that goes out.

Rechargeable batteries can be recharged at home. The Eneloop batteries, for example, can be recharged 2,100 times, meaning that even if you only use it for half that many charges, that saves more than 1,000 batteries that would have otherwise been manufactured, packaged and shipped for a single use. The average home uses about 70 disposable dry batteries per year, so switching to a rechargeable that costs ~3 times more up front has the potential to be a good financial investment as well.

As a special bonus, Eneloop batteries show up fully charged with solar power from the factory. That’s a nice touch and makes buying them that much more satisfying.

I’m not specifically advocating for Eneloop rechargeable batteries as your mileage may vary, depending on what you use them for, how often you have to charge them up, what capacity is needed, etc. They’ve worked for me, so take this recommendation for a grain of salt.

If anything, share your experience with rechargeable batteries in the comments – what brands do you like? What brands didn’t work for you? Are you a fan of rechargeables…or not? Would you consider buying only rechargeable batteries for all your devices going forward?

Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored by Panasonic, Eneloop or your mom (in case you were wondering). We just like rechargeable batteries and have had great experiences over a number of years with Eneloop’s batteries.  

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

Kyle Field has 1638 posts and counting. See all posts by Kyle Field