invest in a battery charger

Friends say I'm a little bit too environmentally conscious, though by my standards, I'm not doing all I can to save the planet. One of the things that had me feeling guilty in the past was the use of batteries.

Sure, we're told to dispose of old batteries through a battery-collection program, but the truth is they still end up in landfills. Even stores that profess to have take-back programs often just throw them in the trash.

Two years ago, I thought it would help a little if I at least switched to rechargeable batteries. So I bought a bunch and also a universal charger from Energizer. It's clunky and heavy, but it's been doing a good job. The batteries I bought then still work, although I have to recharge them more often now.

I strongly recommend that you get a battery charger — it's not only good for the environment, it's also economical. Of course, if I were to buy a new one today, I'd go for the latest model.

Sony has a Super-Quick Worldwide Battery Charger. It weighs just two pounds so it's portable. (Not like mine!) It comes with 4 AA NiMH batteries, but can also charge AAA batteries.

NiMH stands for nickel metal hydride, the type that we use for digital cameras, flashlights, the remote control... the ones in the picture!