Disposable vs Rechargeable?

Eneloop-logo-v3Whether talking about razors, toothbrushes, or batteries; the choice between disposable or rechargeable is often heavily debated. Which is more cost effective? Which is more environmentally friendly? Which is more easily accessible? When it comes to batteries I used to think disposable were good enough for my needs but I’ll fill you in on the night that finally helped changed my mind.

It was the dead of winter and the highly unanticipated snowpocalypse had hit my town (we don’t normally get snow). My friends had just arrived and delayered, shaking off the snow from the powdery cold mess that was outside. The plan was to have a fun night in with friends complete with food, drinks, and video games.

That plan was quickly derailed when we realized the batteries in the controllers needed replacing. Unfortunately, they were alkaline batteries and no one was jumping at the idea of getting out in the snow to go pick up replacements. My little Fiat 500 wasn’t going to make it out there on the snow covered hills and the store probably wasn’t open anyway.

This scenario could have easily been avoided if I had rechargeable batteries. For high-drain devices like game controllers, digital cameras, lights, portable game consoles, etc. rechargeable batteries, like the Panasonic eneloop, extend the usage while decreasing cost and environmental impact. Sure, one could argue that if I had stocked up on extra batteries this wouldn’t have been the problem, but it’s bigger than that.

At first, $31.99 CND was a bit of a sticker shock. But, for the charger and the 4 AA batteries that can be recharged 2100 times, that ends up being $0.02 per use over the lifespan of the battery if I do my math correctly!  And by using rechargeable batteries, I won’t be contributing to the nearly 5.7 billion batteries that make their way to landfills every year.

And now, manufacturers are improving the chemical construction so that they don’t lose as much charge while in storage, known as self discharge. I picked the eneloop because it retains 70% of their charge for up to 10 years.

Don’t let batteries, or lack thereof, upset your game night plans.