Once upon a Christmas past, when my 2 boys were very small, we woke up on Christmas morning and enjoyed our first "real" Christmas with our kids. I think my boys would have been 2 & 3 at the time and it was the first time that we saw they really "got" Christmas. You can imagine the fun we had that Christmas morning, packages getting ripped opened, squeals of joy as toys were revealed. Hours spent taking toys out of boxes (really? I'm pretty sure it would be easier to break into a bank than some of these toys!). And after the last twist tie had been wrenched off the toy, the realization that...we forgot the batteries! I remember my husband rushing out the door, praying that something, anything, would be open and have batteries. I think he ended up at a gas station and paid more for the batteries than the toy, but in the end, we had 2 happy boys.
So consider this your warning: Do Not Forget The Batteries!
Now let's talk about batteries. Alkaline batteries are the most common household batteries. They power most of your children's toys, radio's, remotes, etc. Alkaline batteries turn a chemical reaction into power. They contain cathode (a positive electrode mixture made from manganese dioxide and carbon) and anode (zinc metal) and have a center composed of an electrolyte solution (potassium hydroxide). The electrolyte oxidizes the cathode which reacts with the anode and produces energy. It's a fantastic work of science. It's also toxic and extremely harmful to our environment which is why we suggest the following:
Whenever possible, the best choice is to use appliances and toys that plug right into the energy source. Many watches and calculators are now solar powered and wind-up clocks and flashlights are easily found.
Rechargeable batteries are batteries that can be used again and again. Because of this, we are putting less into the waste stream, and because they are more affordable than ever, they will also save you money in the long run!
If, like me, in all the holiday hubub you forget to pick up recyclable batteries and end up at the corner store on Christmas morning, please remember to dispose of your batteries properly. All batteries, like electronics, are recyclable. Visit the Electronic Products Recycling Association's website to see where you can drop off batteries (and electronics!) in your area of the Peace.