Start Recharging

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Story Updated: Jan 5, 2012

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Start Recharging

By Marisa Belger for Green Goes Simple

I love all holidays, big or small: Thanksgiving, Christmas … even Arbor Day! So it was with great enthusiasm that I discovered National Battery Day (February 18).

Battery Day! How perfect. Whether it’s an electric guitar that belts out hip-hop and jazz beats, or a machine that molds Play-doh into funny shapes, my 3-year-old son is obsessed with battery-powered amusement. One of his first sentences was, “It needs new batteries, mama.”

So in honor of Battery Day, I was determined to change our relationship with batteries, moving from the single-use variety to energy-efficient rechargeables, which can deliver hundreds of uses. After arming myself with a collection of quality rechargeable batteries, I enlisted the assistance of my in-house preschooler and set out to equip each device, toy and gadget with the new and improved batteries.

I discovered that a mini screwdriver is essential for changing most toy batteries -- the battery station is locked to prevent little fingers from meddling -- and that there is great satisfaction to be had in upgrading the batteries in each of your remote controls.

Single-use alkaline batteries can generally be disposed of in the trash, but rechargeables must be recycled. Our next field trip will be to our local Staples store, where they give rechargeable batteries a second life.

Marisa Belger’s work has appeared in Travel + Leisure Family, Natural Health, Prevention and TODAYShow.com, where she wrote a column about eco-friendly living. She was an editor at Lime.com and collaborated with author Josh Dorfman on his bestselling books, The Lazy Environmentalist and The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget. She is the managing editor of and frequent contributor to Green Goes Simple.