Thursday, October 15, 2009

Then You Get De Power: 14 Months Of Batteries

There are many ways to keep a house somewhat green when a new baby arrives. Cloth diapers and glass bottles come to mind. I am surrounded by daily reminders of how "ungreen" having a baby in modern society is. Just about everything that comes near a baby is either rubber or plastic of some kind. We try to get as many used toys as we can. I just don't like the idea of giant toy sets and exersaucers made of thick non recyclable plastic being used by one child then thrown away where they will eventually end up in the ground or the ocean where they will stay for EVER. If I can get a toy that has been used by at least one other baby and pass it on when I am done with it, I won't feel like the factory made a piece of indestructible garbage just for me.

The other area of guilt is battery consumption. All these little toys, bouncy chairs, fake cell phones, and swings need batteries. Lots and lots of batteries. The first idea is naturally to use rechargeable batteries to lessen the environmental blow. The problem with rechargeable batteries is they cost money. I know regular batteries cost more in the long run but more money up front is a huge factor when the check out folks at Buy Buy Baby know me by name.

Knowing I had all new reasons for battery use I decided I would collect all the used batteries and at some point find a place that recycles them. This would allow me an accurate idea of how many batteries a newborn would use in a little over a years time. Also, I wouldn't be slowly adding them to my local land fill.

Our daughter was borne 14 months ago and since then I have not thrown away a single battery.
Some of these batteries were used for flashlights and cycling computers but the majority were used for baby stuff.

So in that time we have used:

7 - D batteries
34 - C batteries
26 - AA batteries
30 - AAA batteries
9 - 2032 batteries (mostly for bike lights and computer)
2 - N batteries (for bike lights)
1 - 9V battery

I didn't record the cost of these batteries but I would imagine it's much more than a set of rechargeables that would do the job of most of these.

With children, most of the things you can do to curb their environmental impact seem small on their own, but a bunch of small things will hopefully add up. Looking at the big picture, the most beneficial thing to come out of these small steps will be to create positive examples for my daughter.

1 comment:

Gunnar Berg said...

Holy buckets! That's more batteries than we've used in ten years. Of course my baby is 25 years old. We don't make a serious effort to live green; we live comfortably. We just both abhor waste and unnecessary consumption. It's amazing how Green that philosophy will take us. It struck me when the collapse hit, that if everybody lived the way we do, the economic engine that drives this country's material economy would grind to a halt, the energy crisis and global warming would evaporate - not because we are more moral, just because we are frugal.(Sorry for the rambling)