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Battery Charge

October 2, 2013

So many essential household gadgets and gizmos use batteries these days: Laptops, some computer mice, certain keyboards, your cell phone/Smartphone, iEverything, tablets, gamepads, consol controllers, shavers/razors/epiladies, torches and so my list could carry on. Batteries make things mobile and convenient which is why manufacturers are opting to introduce these nifty little cells into most designs. Without batteries the world would be a lot less connected.

What this had lead to though is batteries everywhere and a lot of them needing to be charged, often. If your house is anything like my house you have got new and used standard batteries in the bathroom cabinet, the dinning room drawer, the kitchen cupboard, the vanity and just about any other place you tend to dump them or have them handy when you quickly need to replace them. And then there are even those desperate times when you’ve run out of replacement batteries and find yourself swopping batteries between the razor and the PC mouse because for all the batteries in the world you don’t have enough power.

And, of course, there is the other problem of disused cellphones and laptops and their batteries taking up space in your life with no real hope of ending up anywhere other than the back of the cupboard. And for the phones and devices you still use there are several plugs and cables plugged in around your house in order to make sure these devices get charged. Because these chargers are often interchangeable, and you have several, and you can’t be bothered to walk to another room to charge your beloved e-reader these things end up strewn thoughout the house as well. Charging stations abound in the kitchen, the bedroom, your study, next to the TV. Wherever there is an innocent plugpoint originally destined to maybe two things you now have enough going on to light up a small village.

All this because of batteries and our dependency on them and the devices they power. So, you can see why I’m thinking about batteries. It’s all a bit intense if you ask me. Here are some basic ways to make dealing with batteries more efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly

* Recycle all standard batteries. Most Woolworths in South African have bins you can chuck your old batteries into. Not to ever be your concern again and at least they’re not going into a landfill

*Buy rechargeable batteries. They generally come is packs of four so work out how many you need to power the devices in your home. Buy a few more than you need so you can charge these in preparation of the others being depleted. They do cost more than standard batteries but since you can charge them about 1000 times it’s worth the investment. Just remember to not overcharge them or endlessly leave them in the charger as this will damage them and waste electricity. Plug out the charger when you don’t need it.

* Reformat your old laptops and cell phones and donate them to charity. Less stuff in your house for the win

* Allocate actual charging stations in your home. Have one in the study and one in the TV room for example. Have all the chargers you could possibly need handy there and only there. Make it a habit to plan ahead while charging so that you don’t feel like you’re forced to carry a charger around in order to keep using your beloved device. Charging devices in your bedroom are generally a bad idea anyway as there seem to be evidence that this causes a person to sleep badly. PLUG OUT chargers when you are not using them as they do use electricity even if they are not charging anything.

See, easy. It will change your life

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