Recycling – Part IV: The Everyday

As I continue on my journey of trying to be a better inhabitant of this earth, I come to two habits that I have attempted to curb previously. These are things that I have known for years are not good for the environment, but at times they just seem inescapable. Plastic bags and batteries.

I have tried time and time again to not use these items, but this time I am determined to make this succeed.

Stop using plastic bags

I feel like this is one of those things that we are all guilty of. I have so many reusable tote-bags and shopping bags. Do I ever remember to bring them to the grocery store? No.

There are also bags at non-grocery stores. I feel like I never see people bring reusable bags to other types of stores.

So I’ll tackle this like I did my recycling bins. Recognize a problem, and come up with an individual solution.

Problems:

  • Never bringing bags to the grocery store
  • Never having a bag in regular stores.

So what to do…

In my Erin Condren Spring Seasonal Surprise Box (More on Erin Condren later) there was a fold-able re-usable tote that condenses down to the size of a deck of cards. It was perfect timing and the perfect size and material for my needs. I threw it in my purse (also known as my suitcase) and I am now able to use my own bag when I go to the book store or clothing store or when I am buying new tank swag for Rhys High Betta of the Night Tank.

re-useable bag

The grocery store bags are the other issue and they are a two-part issue. The first part is remembering to take them to the grocery store. I’ve started to leave them visible in the back seat of my car and of 3 grocery store trips, I remembered them twice. I will call that progress.

The second part is remembering to put them back in your car after you’ve used them. If I lived in my own house I might have an area near the door nearest my car to put the bags. I don’t have that as I live with my parents, but what I do is I put them in or on top of my purse or laptop bag for work. When I go to leave in the morning I then have no choice but to grab my bags on the way out!


Batteries

In a world where our lives are becoming more and more reliant on technology and electronics, it seems as if we are either always plugged in or battery powered. Don’t get me wrong I love technology and I think it has the power to change lives however I feel like sometimes we are a little too dependent on it and we become wasteful. Especially when it comes to batteries.

I remember being told that you shouldn’t throw out batteries and I was dumbfounded, oh crap, how many batteries have I thrown out in my life? However, there was a silver lining. As it turns our your standard everyday batteries are not the batteries that you need to be super concerned about, although you should still recycle those as well.

In thinking about how many batteries I’d thrown out over the years, I started to think about how many batteries that I use in a year and that was concerning to me. So my first option is to stop using so many battery operated things. This is unlikely as electricity costs are so much higher than long-term use batteries and I also live in the northeast and in the winter you have to have battery operated devices in case the power goes out.

rechargeable
Image via Amazon

So that leaves rechargeable batteries. A long time ago I invested in one set of four batteries and a charger. When I went to do this blog post I quickly found out that after 10 years, rechargeable batteries don’t work so well. So I searched my favorite site, Amazon, found some really great options. Featured on several lists like 24 useful tools for the house, and 101 things you didn’t know you could buy on Amazon, I found out that Amazon Basics has their own rechargeable batteries and chargers. Having experience at work and at home with the Amazon Basics brand, I decided to try them out.

I was able to get 8 high capacity AA batteries and a charger for roughly $34. You might say that that is a lot of money for 8 batteries and a charger but properly maintained rechargeable batteries can last for 2-3 years. To make sure your batteries are in tip-top shape, I’ve listed a few tips for their care.

  • Store your batteries in a coo, dry, place
  • Don’t overcharge your batteries
  • Let your batteries run out completely before recharging them

You can find more information on rechargeable batteries here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Rechargeable batteries are the batteries that need to be recycled! Check out this handy tool to find the location nearest you to recycle your batteries!

Note: Links that appear in this post may earn me a small commission.

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