Electronic gadgets continue to grow in popularity and many people will give them as holiday gifts this season. Devices that plug in to wall outlets are responsible for a small but growing portion of total household energy consumption, about five to seven percent. Devices powered by batteries also pose environmental problems. More than three billion alkaline batteries are thrown away in the U.S. each year instead of being recycled. The toxic metals they contain (such as lead, mercury, and cadmium) can leak into groundwater and harm local residents or wildlife. To make your gadgets greener, you can employ a number of strategies:
-Use rechargeable batteries.
-Look for Energy Star labeled power adapters and battery chargers.
-Use solar-powered chargers.
-Use mechanically powered chargers that receive power from turning a crank or shaking.
For information on electronics and battery recycling, visit Earth 911.