ROOM FOR A PONY

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A new look at rechargeable batteries?

July 11th, 2013 · No Comments · Batteries, Disposability, Toxic Waste

Like everyone, I had my little love affair with rechargeable batteries. I had two sets for my camera, and a recharger that I plugged in overnight so I’d always have one set at the ready. It was great at first. The next morning those batteries would be all a-glow, ready to take on the world. But gradually the initial buzz started to wear off. Before long, not a whole lot seemed to be happening during the night. The camera was responding sluggishly by noon, and by evening it had a headache.

That was unacceptable, and I went back to my normal batteries — faithful; reliable; always available.

Of course I feel terrible about throwing them away. Rechargeable or not, a spurned battery is very toxic to the environment.

A week or two ago, darting into whole foods for some chicken-burger, I encountered Krista standing in front of a Battery.com display to explain the concept. First I’d heard of it.

betterbattery

You buy a set of batteries with a little case that they go in. When they’re spent, you bring them back to the little kiosk (wherever it may be) and dump them into the slot — at which point you insert additional money (but less than the initial outlay) into the machine and it gives you new rechargeables.

In other words you pay them to recharge your batteries instead of doing it yourself. I too was skeptical — how was this a better deal? According to Krista, the commercial recharge holds a lot better. And why do rechargeables wear out so fast, anyway? Because, she explains, the little home rechargers get the batteries too hot too fast … for some reason. Or something like that. The point being that a commercial recharger does a better job. And you pay about $2.50 for that service, for your four batteries. I’m not sure you come out ahead financially, but you do it because you love the planet. That’s their market: people who don’t like throwing away batteries.

That would be me. I haven’t bought them yet, but I’m thinking about it.

They’re hosting additional demos at both the above mentioned Whole Foods locations this Saturday, July 13th. I hope I’ve explained it properly. If not, perhaps Krista or the other people at the company will comment. For more details go to betteryinc.com. Note that it’s “bettery” not battery. And don’t just put bettery.com or the search engine thinks you’re just misspelling battery.

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