Week Six – batteries

Prior to starting on our challenge, Waveney and I swept through the house identifying potential sources of landfill waste and, where possible, replaced items with more sustainable alternatives. One area that received our attention was batteries. Apparently, 15 billion batteries are discarded every year, translating into a column that would stretch to the moon and back – if we could build it, (www.thedailygreen.com). So the alternative was to purchase a battery recharger (Trademe for $20) and rechargeable batteries for the stereo remote and bike lights, the only batteries we use. This all worked well until last week when Waveney’s bike light was stolen off her bike, mounting and all. She went and purchased a new light which was packaging friendly, but she didn’t realise that it had two disposable batteries already in it. Even buying recyclable batteries now poses a problem as they all come in unwelcome un-recyclable packaging. This story is not a ‘woe is me, look at how difficult it all is’ tale, rather it is an illustration of the constant vigilance required when purchasing seemingly benign products. It is also a good plug for buying second hand where we would have been more aware if batteries were included. Now that we have the disposable batteries we will use them, and if they run out within the year they will be added to our rubbish bag. To re-home them would be to distort the reality of the waste being produced from our household as obviously they would still exist and end up at the landfill sometime.

Next week, being Good Friday, we are going to have a break from blog writing. Happy Easter and thank you to everyone who is supporting us.

9 thoughts on “Week Six – batteries

  1. Hmm.. batteries you have me thinking. Thanks to your encouragement I am recyling more and now I have a new compost bin and the hens are enjoying their new diet.


  2. Hey you 2 HAPPY EASTER…hope you still get to eat some eggs! Ive been so inspired by your site and am suprised in conversation at the way we (me included) justify our waste and how some little changes can make a huge difference.I have brought 4 green shopping bags and will now try my best to avoid using plastic bags. (see http://www.plasticshoppingbagfree.co.nz) and I will try also to refill containers at binn inn (ie hand wash, detergent etc)
    So thanks you have made me aware of my own indifference and disregard for watching my waste! Hmmm…anyway great site I shall keep an eye on your progress and gleen some more ideas along the way.
    your friend sue

    The Bin Inn is great, and the saviour of the rubbish free challenge 🙂


  3. Hi, great to hear about your challenge for the year. There are lots of really easy things we can all do to reduce landfill. There are clothing/footwear recycling bins outside most Plunket clinics. This clothing is sold to second hand clothing stores and a donation is given to Canterbury Plunket by the bin operater.


  4. You guys are really inspiring. I already only put out a rubbish bag about once every three months but thanks to you guys I am committed to trying to cut it down even further. With two dogs to clean up after I have created a mini septic tank for their waste, using enviro friendly tank starter, and the bags we use when out are 100% compostable and biodegradable. Funnily enough the company that posted them out to me did so in a plastic post bag, but to their credit when I emailed them about this they acknowledged the irony of it and now plan to post everything out packaged in recyclable material. Keep up the great work guys 🙂


  5. I’m enjoying catching up on your year to date! Out of curiosity, have you thought about monitoring the effects of this challenge on other aspects of your lives, such as money saved, health, and how time is spent?

    Its a good idea looking at the effects on other aspects of our lives however at this time we haven’t as we don’t seem to have the time, also we have a problem with a baseline from which to compare as we’ve recently returned from living in Canada which was quite a different living situation. Cheers.


  6. Hi
    just catching up on your progress, I notice you did not mention batteries for smoke alarms. I hope you have some, i’m sure you can get re-chargable batteries for them as well. Good luck with your challenge.


  7. Don’t know if this helps but…
    in keeping with community building ethos would Happyscrappy.co.nz/batteryrecycling.htm be of any use if you had enough people contributing to a pile of batteries to be recycled? Maybe if you linked to a local school, kids could collect batteries from home to bring in for recycling.
    I appreciate you probably didn’t intend to become waste campaigners for the whole city and are pressed for time but I thought I’d mention it as I know your forum is inspiring many many people to try and do more.
    Also the scrap metal dealer may have battery recycling contacts.


    That is probably a really good idea, gathering enough batteries to pass on for recycling. However, I seem to remember something about small batteries not being able to recycled for some reason. Maybe someone knows more about this? Cheers.


  8. ALL types of batteries can now be recycled, although its expensive rechargables are sent to europe and alikline (the old non rechargable type) can now be sent to Aust. for recycling.


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