5 reasons to buy rechargeable batteries

In the past few months, the Herald's "Get Green" blog has continued to pop up on the radar of a growing number of environmentally minded companies, organizations and groups.

Here's one that I received recently from Aaron Fowles, a communications specialist with SANYO North America Corporation. While it is a promotional piece, there is some valuable information, which is why I am posting it here...

Each year, more than 2 billion household batteries are disposed, and that number only represents those that are sent to landfills.

The impact on our environment from discarded dry cell batteries can be catastrophic over time, polluting our world’s ground soil and water supply, resulting in health hazards to humans, plants, and animals.

The amount of chemicals and/or metals in batteries can be staggering. For example, a car battery has almost 20 pounds of lead in it and 16 ounces of sulfuric acid. (Source: “The Effects of Non-Disposable Batteries on the Environment”, by Jason Petrina, Editor and Publisher, Article Click)

As our society continues to heavily depend on battery supplies to power many common electronic devices, such as digital cameras and flashlights, the need for efficient and ecologically responsible battery use has become paramount.

Therefore, replacing traditional dry cell batteries with rechargeable batteries offers a number of important benefits, highlighting meanings of “eco”, economical and ecological, simultaneously.

1. A typical dry cell battery lasts only as long as its life cycle, limiting the use to one time only. Rechargeable batteries can be recharged and reused more than 500 times. In fact, there are some rechargeable batteries out there that can be charged again 1,000 or more times.

2. Buying dry cell batteries that can only be used once is typically less expensive upfront, but that cost increases dramatically over time. However, budget-minded supply managers know rechargeable batteries allow hundreds of cycles per battery, making the cost per unit go down over times used, resulting in hundreds or thousands of dollars in cost savings each year.

3. Rechargeable batteries last longer, with one rechargeable battery taking the role of multiple batteries each time it is recharged and reused. The reusing of resources minimizes impact on the environment. Batteries, which contain a number of metals including mercury, aluminum, and nickel, pollute groundwater and soil when not disposed of properly. Also, if you look close enough, you will see that most rechargeable batteries are recyclable.

4. Rechargeable batteries are more convenient. This is counterintuitive because the traditional image is that they don’t come pre-charged and that translates to inconvenience. The way rechargeable batteries work has improved remarkably and deserves attention. They can come precharged today, are usable right out of the box, and can be recharged and used again tomorrow and the next day. If you don’t use them right away and decide to charge and store them, some batteries, such as SANYO’s eneloop batteries, keep 85% of their charge after sitting on a shelf for one year.

5. Today’s rechargeable batteries are extremely powerful, particularly when powering digital cameras, computers and other power-hungry devices. Rechargeables can deliver solid performance and reliability, as evidenced by the recent developments in stable voltage opening up longer use of each charge.

If you have been sitting on the fence or are looking for something that you can do to start down the path of sustainability, rechargeable, re-usable batteries are a great place to start.

SANYO North America Corporation, a subsidiary of SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., markets and sells energy- and environment-related products in North America including a variety of commercial and consumer solutions such as rechargeable batteries, digital imaging devices, biomedical and health-related equipment, HVAC equipment, home appliances, etc. SANYO is also the world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries. For further information on SANYO, visit