Commit to making the switch. Rechargeable batteries aren’t just good for the environment – They are easy on the wallet, too! With an initial investment of around 2-3 times the cost of your typical throw-away battery, it may feel a bit painful to make the switch at first. Consider purchasing a few at a time, slowly replacing those batteries that run out most frequently (cameras, MP3 players, portable gaming systems) and gradually upgrading everything. Soon, even your TV remote will be ready to go with a rechargeable option that will last for years!
Know your charging needs. Do you rely heavily upon AAA, D, or C-sized batteries? Buy accordingly, and don’t forget to purchase a charger that can accommodate every size of battery you will use. NiMH rechargeables are the best buy for the money, as they hold a charge longer and won’t suffer from the memory effect (diminishing charge capabilities) like older types of batteries. If you will be needing to use the batteries straight out of the package, buy them pre-charged, but be prepared to pay more!
Buy brand-name. It’s tempting to snag the cheapest brand on the shelf, but not all rechargeables are alike. Just like regular batteries, no-name rechargeables can go bad faster, offer little warranty on their performance, and may not work well mixed with other brands. Stick to a brand you know and trust, and buy them on sale for maximum savings!
Handle with care. Tossing your old batteries can be serious business, especially if they were made before 1997. Contact your local municipality for details on where you can dispose of them properly, or use Earth 911’s handy search tool to find a disposal partner near you.