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.