Sacramento’s Green IT – One Battery at a Time

Last time I checked, the sun was shining. Actually, it has been shining pretty much every day since April, and even when it isn’t shining, there is still enough light to grow plenty of grass (and weeds). Even if the sun was shining (and I needed to mow the grass), I still had to work on a deliverable for a client. My wireless mouse died – actually the batteries died. So, I drove my 30 mpg car to the large club warehouse store (kind of rhymes with Moscow) to pick up a megapack of AAA batteries. I use each battery once and then drop them in the Hazardous Waste container in the garage. In a few months, I’ll have enough to drive them over to the County’s Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Center.

That’s a lot of batteries – to buy, use once and turn into hazardous waste.

Well, there’s a simple change I (we?) can make. Instead of buying disposable batteries, why not buy rechargeables? And why not get a solar recharger that makes the new charge practically free!?! It’s actually pretty easy – when one set of batteries dies, just exchange the batteries with those in the solar charger.

The Facts

It can cost between $0.60 and $1.10 to properly dispose of a pound of used batteries[i].
Sacramento averages 193 sunny days per year.[ii]
Solar energy is clean and quiet. Since sunlight is a renewable energy source, there really isn’t any negative impact on the environment.
Solar energy is inexpensive. Though there can be an upfront investment in equipment, the payback in reduced energy costs can be rewarding.
The use of Solar Energy reduces our dependence on foreign and/or centralized sources of energy, influenced by natural disasters or international events and so contributes to a sustainable future.

Want to do more?

Use batteries that you can recharge using a solar charger. Depending on what model you purchase, it can take a few hours or a full day to charge your batteries. Either way, you are taking advantage of “free” solar energy while reducing environmental impact. Find solar chargers:

Emigh Hardware — 3555 El Camino Avenue (across from Country Club Mall)
Purchase solar power from your utility: SMUD
Invest in your own renewable energy source like a PV photovoltaic system: SMUD, PG&E