There are many things about reusable batteries that are appealing to people, but there are skepticisms and arguments against their usage for just as many cons as there are pros. The modern age has a big movement associated with the word and the color green. Everyone, producers and consumers, intend to find ways to follow the trend to create less waste and damage to the environment, to prevent or slow any further damage to the ecosystem. One such way is rechargeable batteries.
Whether the reasons a consumer does or does not use the rechargeable batteries comes down to one of the biggest arguments: are rechargeable batteries really better for the environment or another hazard? With the rhetoric of both the word and movement of green’ that impacts the influence on the consumer and compels them to buy products believed to be environmentally safe, even if the product is not eco-friendly.Rechargeable batteries are nothing new, though they have made a greater impression in the recent decades.
Rechargeable batteries have been around since 1959 when the lead-acid cell was invented by a French physicist, Gaston Plante. Since the invention of the lead-acid cell, the production of batteries can be narrowed into two classifications, primary cells which are non-rechargeable batteries, or secondary cells which are rechargeable batteries. Both primary and secondary cells produce electric currents in the same way, however, rechargeable batteries are able to reverse their discharge to recharge. The three most common rechargeable batteries today are lithium-ion (LiOn), nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), and nickel-cadmium (NiCd) respectively (Brian). Nickel-cadmium batteries were one of the first widely used rechargeable batteries but proved to be less efficient due to suffering from the memory effect. The memory effect is a problem in the battery’s capability to hold a charge where they drain quickly when recharged without being fully discharged (Brian). Eventually, nickel-cadmium batteries were replaced with the nickel-metal hydride. While NiMH batteries had a higher charge capacity and only suffered little to the memory effect, their shelf life was very poor. In brief, both NiCd and NiMH batteries were tricky to handle when it came to trying to deplete the batteries fully and not to overcharge and damage them. Another development in secondary cells was the lithium-ion batteries, which have very long shelf lives, hold charges better at higher voltages, and are much smaller and lighter in comparison to the nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride (Brian). Overall, rechargeable batteries have great usage but will eventually die, however it might take hundreds of charges and usages before that occurs.According to the Energizer manufacturers, their rechargeable batteries meet a standard in technology and environmental responsibility. The advertisement of the batteries uses a green label and many compelling statements such as how the batteries are 4% recycled batteries and that a consumer will not only save money but the environment too by buying them (Energizer). The Energizer packaging claims that you can experience the convenience and value of innovative, industry-leading rechargeable battery technology which appeals to the buyer by use of opportune moment. Energizer Rechargeable batteries are comprised of the nickel-metal hydride compound and come in several styles, the most common being AA, AAA, C, and D style batteries. By the average estimation described on the Energizer website, the batteries come pre-charged, will last roughly up to 21 months, and can be recharged up to 1500 times before the battery begins to fail (Energizer). While rechargeable batteries are great, there are also downsides to their usage. The many pros and cons of the rechargeable batteries are often cause of debate for many people, whether or not the product is actually worth it or would damage the environment more. For example, rechargeable batteries happen to be quite toxic to the environment. Nickel-cadmium cells were almost exclusively used until the 1990s when they were opted out for nickel-metal hydride batteries instead. The reason behind the switch was to try and lower the toxicity and damage that was generated by the production and disposal of the nickel-cadmium batteries (Buchmann). Now because of environmental laws, NiCd cells are now limited to special uses only.While rechargeable batteries do help lessen the waste and constant production of batteries, they still have an environmental impact despite being labeled as environmentally friendly’. Nickel-cadmium batteries are by far the most toxic but have been since limited in their usage. Nickel-metal hydride cells are damaging for the environment as well. Lithium-ion batteries, however, are the most damaging and have the greatest impact on the environment in production and disposal (McManus).The production for lithium-ion cells is costly due to the depletion of metals and the manufacturing of the batteries that create great amounts of greenhouse gases. Because of the modern age, people have become more reliant on batteries and their power to sustain a certain comfort. Batteries vary in efficiency between metals and manufacturing, however, they all share the common impact on the environment such as metal depletion, energy usage and demand, and the climate change impact. While there is no immediate depletion of metals, such as those used in lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride batteries, the process of mining and location can increase toxicity and damage the surrounding environment (McManus). Lithium-ion cells are half as toxic to humans in comparison to lead-acid batteries; while nickel-metal hydride batteries are the least toxic but require the most energy to make. Between the LiOn and NiMH batteries, the pair of battery types is the most harmful in production and produce the most greenhouse gases (McManus).There is also the problem with disposal of the batteries and can be a health hazard for not only people but the environment in which the batteries are disposed at. There are certain measures to use when disposing of batteries so that they can be recycled again, however, in many cases those measures are not taken. Most often these rechargeable batteries, really batteries in general, end up in waste fills rather than being recycled or taken to a special plant to be disposed of properly. In some cases, certain stores such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Staples, and Best Buy offer a recycling center to drop-off spent batteries (Energizer). The idea of rechargeable batteries and less waste, which means a healthier environment, is something that appeals to many people. With the modern moment of green, to have more environmentally friendly items and productions, it is easy to effectively use the moment to sell productions. Producers main goal is to sell their product, so through the usage of the environmental green moment and the color green, the producers have a certain appeal over consumers. In many cases, the color green on products in the stores immediately brings to mind something good and eco-friendly. The color is just as persuasive as the words on the label of the packaging. Green is viewed as a calming and refreshing color. Often anything with a green tone will be subconsciously associated with nature because it symbolizes life and a sense of harmony or balance (Wickes), thus it is a positive effect when someone sees a green label or package.Rechargeable batteries are meant to be less hazardous to the environment to help reduce waste and consumption. Through effective advertisements that utilize the green aspect and movement in this age, producers have created a compelling way to sell their products with influence already over their consumers.The utilization of colors, words, and timing things can be made to appeal and to compel a person towards the ‘green’ product. The impact the advertisement of both words and colors have as an impact on a person and whether these advertisements are true to the claim they are environmentally friendly.