It’s called “clean coal,” but it still produces some of the worst emissions, including 1.3 times more carbon than oil. Wind and solar farms sound like the renewable energy of the future, but turbines and panels decimate regional bird and bat populations. Everyone wants to be greener, but the media produces so many conflicting messages that many people question what is right and what is wrong.
Rechargeable technology was one of the first highly touted green solutions, but many are beginning to question whether bothering with recharging is worthwhile for the environment. After all, to recharge batteries of any type, we must rely on electricity typically produced by coal, oil, or nuclear power, which are all well-known environmental devastators.
Still, environmentalists stand by rechargeables, claiming rechargeable batteries pave the path to a greener future. Here are five top reasons it is still right to use rechargeable tech.
Rechargeables Cut Waste
Disposable batteries come require an absurd amount of packaging to produce and distribute, and every scrap of cardboard and sleeve of plastic is destined for the landfill. Landfills pose serious threats to the safety of civilization; to list just a few:
- Landfills poison the air, producing as many as 10 toxic gasses. The worst of these is methane, which accumulates in the atmosphere to compound the greenhouse effect.
- Landfills pollute fresh water, leaching hazardous materials into waterways and contaminating popular drinking sources.
- Landfills spread disease, as scavengers like rats, birds, and even humans can carry infected or diseased materials from landfills into towns and cities.
Comparatively, rechargeable batteries – and by extension rechargeable tech – are only packaged once, meaning a user could go years without contributing battery-related waste to landfills.
Rechargeables Reduce Litter
Unfortunately, not all waste reaches the landfill. In fact, regional governments in the United States spend more than $11 billion every year to manage litter in their areas. In one survey, 75 percent of respondents admitted to littering within the past five years, which means the more one person can do to cut out potential waste, the better.
Using rechargeable tech is one way to reduce a person’s opportunity to litter. Just convincing smokers to switch from traditional cigarettes to rechargeable e-cigs could end about 50 percent of the world’s litter problem. At least half of smokers never properly dispose of their cigarette butts in ashtrays, and butts take more than 10 years to disintegrate – all the while releasing toxins that poison the environment. Rechargeable tech reduces waste and could end litter altogether.
Rechargeables Allow for Better Tech
Disposable batteries aren’t particularly powerful. Though they might be ideal for low-draw devices like flashlights and alarm clocks, it is not possible to use them to fuel our more advanced, high-drain tech, like computers and smartphones. In fact, because researchers continue to advance rechargeable batteries’ capabilities, they can develop better and better technology, such as the Internet of Things. Soon enough, we might be able to avoid disposable batteries altogether, so we will have a fully rechargeable world.
Rechargeables Save Money
On Amazon, as of this writing, an eight-pack of rechargeable batteries costs just over $15. These batteries should last 1,000 recharge cycles, which will occur over several years. Comparatively, an eight-pack of disposable batteries costs just over $5, but at most, they can provide about 100 hours of use – which is just over four days in a flashlight or similar device. To achieve the same longevity of a rechargeable battery, a person would need to spend over $5,000 on disposable batteries, which is an egregious waste of money for most households.
Rechargeables Can Go Green
As more people become concerned about the state of the Earth and as technology continues to improve, most societies are moving toward broader renewable energy opportunities. Instead of coal and oil, cities are relying on the sun and wind to power their homes and workspaces.
Because they contain heavy metals and must constantly be shipped from production sites to retail stores, disposable batteries may continue to rely on destructive, unsustainable processes. Yet, rechargeable technologies will move effortlessly into this new, green phase of civilization, sourcing their recharged energy from however cities choose to power their grids. Individuals can become even less dependent on carbon, and we can live in a clean, green, society.