Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green

I think I've done at least one other blog post with that title, but my brain cells are running low.  The kids had a superintendent's conference day today, so that meant no school for them.

I have been in charge of battery recycling at their school, and it's been really successful; people drop off their used alkaline batteries at the school, and I periodically scoop them up and recycle them.  This is a tad easier said than done, because although many places accept used rechargeable batteries, it's harder (but certainly not impossible) to recycle alkaline batteries.  For a long time our county was telling people to just throw them in the garbage (the amount of toxic disasters and heavy metals in batteries is truly horrific), which was just unacceptable to us, so that's why we started the program at the school.

I've been taking them to IKEA, a store which is near and dear to my heart because of its oh-so-Swedishness.  The store also accepts used fluorescent lightbulbs (which shouldn't be thrown in the garbage because of the mercury content), printer cartridges, and cell phones.  The kids think it's a really fun outing - we walk through all the rooms set up with furniture, they have some Swedish meatballs in the cafe ($1.99 and served on a real plate - can't be beat!), and I might pick up a Malm or a Hoppen - I love that they keep the Swedish names - makes shopping much more fun and exciting (and Scandinavian).

We haven't made the trek in a while, and I therefore had about 9 jillion pounds of batteries residing in my tiny kitchen.  For those of you who haven't tried to carry 9 jillion pounds of batteries, batteries are really heavy.  I mean seriously heavy.  I separated them into three bags, I handed one to each of the kids, and we trekked to the car (amidst a fair amount of whining...).  We drove the 40 minutes to IKEA, dragged the batteries out of the car, got to the little recycling kiosk, and were met with a sign stating that they no longer accept batteries for recycling. the batteries got hauled back to the car, and we had our day at IKEA - even brought home a bag of frozen Swedish meatballs for the kids.  (Who of course had to help me haul the batteries back up to the apartment, as I wasn't sure if 9 jillion pounds of batteries in a hot car were a terribly good idea).

Where shall I drive my batteries to tomorrow?  They do so like getting out of the house.

1 comment:

Bezzie said...

Hmm...I don't know of anyone that recycles batteries. I need to find a place that will do those CFLs though. I had my first one burn out on me this week. I don't believe in IKEA though. Mr. IKEA president gave money to some people in the past that aren't very nice. He apologized, but I guess I hold a grudge.