Originally Posted by sailor
I have not bought a non-reachargeable AA or AAA battery in years.
All my stuff runs on Sanyo Eneloop (a rechargeable battery, which keeps charge for a long time, more than 5 years with their 3rd generation).
At about ~ $2.50 per battery they are ten times more expensive than DT alkaline, but I've definitely got my money worth back and probably lowered my environmental footprint.
I've looked into these Eneloop rechargeables several times, they don't make economic sense for me
. I don't have many things that 'gobble' AA or AAA's - mostly remotes, clocks, and other things that go a year or more before needing replacement. So a 10 year payback at least, and that doesn't include the cost of the charger (and opportunity cost). Some of my older chargers for ni-cads died before 10 years - one incident like that could wipe out my payback for a long time.
I try to avoid anything that would gobble AA/AAA, those are probably better served with rechargeable lithium cells, or NIMH (cordless phones).
I dated that 48-pack from Costco that I bought earlier. I forget the exact numbers now, but it lasted several years, and that is spread out across many remotes, clocks, weather station remotes, etc. I'd be looking at $100 outlay to replace most of them, the $4 opportunity cost alone would buy 16 batteries a year.
I don't think alkaline batteries have much of an environmental impact (and you have to add the charger to the equation), but it would be nice if these super low power devices had some sort of way to power themselves to avoid trashing even those little things. I've seen plans for things that pick up sounds/vibration, solar of course, or movement (picking up the remote would generate a little current), or radio waves in the air. Clocks and remotes and things use so little average power, it seems possible.