Are batteries really better?


The push for cordless everything is touted as the answer to saving the world. I’ll admit that I find it more convenient building or working on anything without having to deal with an attached cord. But beyond the tool industry, we’re seeing the conversion of automobile­s, trucks, buses, and even airplanes from fossil fuels to electric power. Present technology requires a storage battery to accomplish this.

The problem is that storage batteries eventually wear out and must be replaced. Then what? Are we simply swapping one environmen­tal problem for another with the heavy metals and toxins in these expended batteries? It’s unlawful to dispose of them in landfills. What to do with all the dead batteries is the question.

—Loren Miller

Oakwood, Texas

That’s a great question, Loren, which demands a more systemic answer. Until that comes, we can help the global situation by acting locally. Rechargeab­le batteries, such those in tools, mobile phones, and laptops, should always be recycled to minimize their environmen­tal impact. Most office-supply stores and home centers provide drop-off bins for your discarded packs. If not, find a battery-recycling location near you at call2recyc­le.org.

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