Butterflies

Wind Up And Recharge

Let’s bin disposability.

Single-use batteries sum up pretty well the wrong turn we’ve taken as a species. We make them, we use them, we throw them away. Certainly, they were useful for a time. They liberated us from the limits of the four-foot electrical lead. They allowed us to listen to music on the bus, use a phone in any room in the house, shave in the street, whisk eggs anywhere we liked. But in the days of Greta-Consciousness anything designed to be used only once looks a bit stupid.

We should use rechargeable batteries, and only rechargeable batteries. We already do at times, quite without thinking. Mobile phones, laptops, tablets; it wouldn’t cross our minds to buy single-use batteries for these things, partly because they’re expensive and don’t actually exist but mostly because we’re accustomed to recharging them. We just accept running them down and plugging them in is part of using them. Let’s take that principle and apply it to every battery-powered thing we own.

Here in Zero Towers we’ve replaced batteries in our keyboard, mouse, remote controls, camera, stapler and lemon zester, ditching the old batteries that cavemen invented and using rechargeables instead. Assuming we’d had to replace the single-use batteries in our three remote controls every three years, we’ll have saved the world 50 batteries by 2070. And assuming the 20 million people reading this Butterfly do the same, by 2070 we’ll have saved the world 1 billion batteries. That’s a billion less produced, saving the energy and materials they would have gobbled up. A billion less chugging out carbon dioxide in their production and transport. A billion less oozing shit into our landfills. It’s a billion less, gang, I shouldn’t have to ram home the point here.

And another thing: When we replace battery powered gadgets we should ask ourselves if they really need to be battery powered anyway given even rechargeables require materials and energy for their production and charge. Let’s think. Instead of buying battery powered scales we could buy mechanical ones that do the same job. Instead of buying battery powered torches we could buy wind up torches. Instead of buying wireless keyboards we could buy wired keyboards and sacrifice a little cool.

There is a future of our making where single-use batteries are no longer produced, where they’ve all been recycled and replaced with rechargeables and where we use fewer batteries where we can. It’s either that or the future where apes take over, outlaw books, have Skynet feed us Soylent Green and kill us on our 30th birthday, and ironically use the survivors as human Matrix batteries. Your choice.

Wind up and recharge

 

Save resources

 

Save the goddamn world

 

Photo credit: Red Rock Stock

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