There are several strategies for how to deal with batteries. The smartest strategy, from both an environmental as well as a budget perspective, is to use rechargeable batteries. If you’re not using rechargeable batteries already, you should consider doing so. What’s really nice, is you’ll never have to steal the batteries from the remote control, again, when a new battery is simply a charge away!

Our favorites are the hybrid rechargeable batteries made with Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) cells. These batteries come fully charged, similar to alkaline batteries. The best feature is that they can hold their charge over may months, a feature unique to hybrid rechargeables. These hybrid Ni-MH cells offer the convenience and shelf-life of alkaline batteries, and the high-drain performance of older Ni-MH batteries. Types of hybrid rechargeables include Rayovac Hybrid, Eneloop, and Hybrio.

Lithium-ion batteries are very good and have excellent shelf life> Downside? They’re more expensive than other types of rechargeable batteries, and for that reason we prefer NiMHs.

Nickel-Cadmium (Nicad) batteries, one of the first forms of rechargeable batteries, are being used less frequently because of the toxicity of cadmium. Try to prevent using these batteries.

Rechargeable alkaline batteries have poorer long-term performance and recharge characteristics compared to NiMHs. The rechargeable alkaline is inexpensive, though, and is the only rechargeable battery that is ready to use right out of the package.

If you’re not able to invest in rechargeables at the moment, you can still be aware of how to recycle the current batteries you utilize. Not that while disposable alkaline batteries can be thrown in the trash, all rechargeable batteries should be recycled. This doesn’t mean you should throw your regular alkaline batteries in the landfill, though.

To learn about battery recycling options, go to your county’s waste disposal website and search on “battery recycling.” Another option is to see if your place of work provides battery recycling. If they do, you can bring your batteries to work and drop them off. If neither of these local options works for you, go to batteryrecycling.com to learn about their iRecycle kits.