Just to be clear, let me state right off the top that in this family, I am considered the cheap one.
But this is not a post about being a miser, this is a post about batteries. Yes, batteries, the heart of so many of the gadgets that make our technological, consumerist, geek-loving, practical world go ’round. And my love/hate relationship with them.
The husband likes things to run well. He wants his flashlights bright, he wants his clocks to run on time, he wants his battery-powered tools to hold a charge thru a whole project. These are not unreasonable desires. He buys batteries in bulk and he replaces them as needed. The problem lies in what happens next.
There are always batteries just lying around the house. The green-ish part of me knows that it is best not to toss any type of battery in the trash, so we usually have a bag of batteries waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) to be taken somewhere for recycling. If I would just put the batteries in the bag, there would likely be no problem, but sometimes I just feel it necessary to address the root problem.
Me: There were some batteries on the kitchen counter, are they dead?
Husband: They came out of the flashlight.
Me: So they’re dead? I can put them in the recycle bag?
Husband: No, I don’t think they’re dead.
Me: ?!? Ok, I’ll check them with the battery tester. Oh, wait, I don’t think it’s working right, the batteries in it must be dead. I’m gonna put them in the recycle bag.
Husband: I think they still have some juice in them.
(Conversation just sort of ends. Sometime later, I put batteries in the recycle bag. Every once in a while, but not very often, husband will question the existence of the ‘not dead batteries.’ If I’m really irritated, I just throw them in the trash as a final, not very environmentally sound, act of rebellion.)
After a recent exchange much like the one above, the husband actually interjected into the silence at the end of the conversation, “I remember seeing a gadget whose sole purpose was to sit there and use up all the remaining charge in a battery. For the geeks (and here he did not seem to indicate that he was, in fact, ONE OF THESE GEEKS) who just feel the need to completely use up a battery before throwing it away.
I just spent about 45 minutes scouring the internet for said device. The best I could find was this useless box whose sole purpose is to turn itself off after you turn it on. If you know of a more useless way to use up batteries, please let me know. Before Christmas.