Here’s a question to start this post: how long could you go without buying new batteries? While you think on that, consider that some fifteen billion disposable alkaline batteries are manufactured every year. Now imagine you woke up one morning to discover that all battery manufacturing had ceased completely.
Due to some kind of rift in the space-time continuum, no batteries were coming off the assembly line. No alkaline, NiCad, NiMH, or lithium-ion products of any type. What you have in the junk drawer will have to tide you over until someone figures out how to fix the rift.
How long could you get along? I did a brief assessment of my own home and office and discovered some startling things. What would you discover?
Very Few Alkaline Batteries
I can pat myself on the back and say I use very few alkaline batteries at home. I use two in my electric razor and one each in a couple of TV/streaming device remotes. In my own defense, those remotes came with alkaline batteries in them. I just haven’t replaced them yet.
My electric razor will work with rechargeable batteries. So when the current set died, I would be okay for the foreseeable future. I just invested in some USB C rechargeable AAA batteries from Pale Blue Earth that should theoretically keep me going for at least a few years.
Rechargeable Batteries for Work
My work involves several different types of electronic gadgets. I obviously have my computer and smartphone, both powered by lithium-ion cells. My smartphone is fairly new. I would expect to get at least two or three more years out of the battery. My computer, not so much. I may have to replace the battery in another year or so.
I also use several different types of wireless mics for my work. Some of those mics require replaceable batteries. I use only rechargeables in them. However, a couple of my mics have hard-wired batteries. Those batteries are also lithium-ion. But because I need to charge the mics at least once per day, none of them last for more than a year or so.
One of the two I currently have is fairly new. The other is already approaching end-of-life. If the rift that brought all battery manufacturing to a halt weren’t fixed soon, I could find myself down to one wireless mic after the other dies.
The Switch Was Easy
This mental exercise of assessing how long I can go without buying new batteries made me realize that I used to buy a lot of alkalines. I mean a lot. I used them in everything from flashlights to hand-held video cameras and my electric toothbrush.
I don’t remember quite when I started making the transition to lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. But I do remember exactly why I made the choice. For me, it was simple math. That’s just how I roll.
I sat down one day and calculated how much money I was spending on disposable batteries. Realizing lithium-ion batteries can be charged 1000+ times, it only took a quick calculation for me to figure out I could save a ton of money by going rechargeable route.
There Is No Bad Reason
Ultimately, there is no bad reason for switching from alkaline to lithium-ion batteries. If you need a little help, consider this: alkaline batteries may not be around forever. We aren’t expecting all battery manufacturing to come to an abrupt halt, but alkaline technology is old technology. You might be better off starting to make the transition now. That way you will not be caught off guard.