Did you ever have this experience as a child? You wake up ridiculously early on Christmas morning and race downstairs to rip open your presents. You’re overjoyed to find the toy you’ve been begging for all year! You eagerly pull it out of the box and turn it on and… nothing happens.
Sigh. Batteries not included, right there in the fine print on the box.
If your parents were smart, they had a package of batteries set aside for you, but in my family, this meant the hunt was on to scavenge batteries from all the other devices around the house.
That’s why whenever I give electronic or battery-powered gifts, I make sure to wrap up some batteries in there too! Instead of single-use batteries that waste resources and end up in the trash though, I choose to send rechargeable batteries.
Fewer batteries used means fewer in the landfill where heavy metals can leach into the soil or groundwater. However, while I prefer rechargeable batteries for most uses, they do come with some issues that I used to think I just had to learn to live with. Namely their limited number of charges and the problem of power drain.
Panasonic’s popular eneloop rechargeable batteries fix these problems. An average rechargeable battery is estimated to last 500-1000 charges, but eneloop batteries recharge up to 2100 times. If you recharge them twice a week, that’s over 20 years! With a set of eneloop batteries, you might never have to buy rechargeable batteries again. This means a heap of money saved on top of the environmental benefits.
Your average NiMH rechargeable batteries will lose up to 50% of their charge within six months. In comparison, eneloop batteries retain up to 70% of their charge after 5 years in storage. So if you have items you’re not using regularly (e.g., camping gear), the batteries will still work when you pull them after a year or two in the garage. And you can recharge them at any point without worrying about the memory effect.
They’re also perfect for items like our Nintendo Wiimotes. We might play Mario Party all day one Saturday and then not touch it again for a couple of months. The other batteries I had in there would lose their charge and need recharging before we could play. These don’t have that problem.
Now, I don’t have 5 years to devote to this review so obviously I can’t test these claims firsthand, but my favourite part is that eneloop batteries come pre-charged (with solar energy no less!) so they’re ready to go instantly. That makes them perfect for my impatient kids who just want to play with their new Christmas gifts!
A word about this particular charger. It works with both AA and AAA and automatically shuts itself off when charging is complete so it doesn’t overcharge. It also doesn’t require you to recharge in pairs anymore, so go ahead and do just one, two, or three batteries if that’s all you need.
There is a down side to all of this though. When my kids insist on playing with their annoying monkey that beeps and sings (thank you, Aunty Kristy!), I can’t tell them we’re out of batteries anymore!
Learn more about Panasonic eneloop batteries HERE.
Disclosure: This conversation is sponsored by Panasonic. Nevertheless, all opinions expressed are completely honest and my own. Your experience may differ.