Reuse: Rechargable Batteries

We’ve been going through batteries quite rapidly (for us) around the Elv house – we don’t mean to, but there are lots of things that use them, you know? Yankee Elv has been saving them to take to one of the schools she used to teach at, which has a battery recycling program. We just bought a recharger and rechargable batteries so we can reduce the amount we go through too.

Wouldn’t these be even cooler, though? It’s Knut Karlsen’s homemade solar-rechargeable batteries, called SolarCat (cos they lay out on your windowsill in the sun, like a cat).

Knut Karlsen's SolarCat batteries

Knut Karlsen's SolarCat batteries

You can recharge these batteries in the sun… anywhere! Convenient, especially when you don’t have access to a power point or don’t want to cart your recharger around. (Road trip! Road trip! In a smart car! In a smart… wait. Those things won’t fit all three of us plus the dog. Hmm. Maybe not.)

I also like the idea of kinetic (hand-crank) power, for things like torches and radios. We’re going camping later this year and they would be really handy – and we do need some more light so Yankee Elv can communicate at night. She needs to see to lip read and sign and the mini-lanterns and Dolphin torch we used last time didn’t really cut it. Something like this lantern would be pretty cool – I wonder how long a minute of cranking gets you? This one charges your mobile phone, too.

Does anyone know of other kinetically-powered items you can get? I’m keen to take responsibility for the power I use, and that’s an easy, cheap and eco-friendly way to do it.



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