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  • Young Climate Warriors

Hidden in almost every room, cylindrical or cuboid ... what am I?

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

I can be cylindrical or cuboid and I am probably hidden in EVERY room in your home, what am I? Can you seek out the batteries hiding in your home – check your parent/carer is happy with this game of ‘hide and seek’ and don’t remove the batteries - leave them where they are needed! How many have you found? Where did you find them? What about in … alarm clocks, remote controls, torches, phones, calculators, cameras, tablets, gaming controls, hearing aids, laptops, electric toothbrushes, toys, watches, electric screwdrivers, smoke alarms …

Your challenge this week is to think about the amazing role of batteries, and take ‘charge’ of used batteries! Find a box or bowl to collect them in and make sure they make it to your nearest recycling point so that the raw materials can be extracted and re-used. As Greta Thunberg says ‘Every single person counts’ and in this case, every single battery counts. Recycling batteries reduces the need for mining new raw materials and avoids the related carbon emissions. Use re-chargeable batteries where possible.

What role do batteries play in helping to combat climate change? They are a fundamental part of the solution – both in electric vehicles and in allowing us to store renewable energy until it is needed. In ten years’ time, it is thought that we will be making nearly 20 times more batteries than today! We need to use our existing resources as carefully as possible. All batteries are reliant on raw materials mined from the earth including lithium, graphite, lead, nickel, steel, cadmium, cobalt, zinc, copper, aluminium and manganese. These resources are finite – they will run-out. Mining conditions are not always ideal and concerns have been raised about hazardous working conditions, use of child labour, local water shortages and environmental contamination. Achieving solutions to climate change must not come at the expense of our fellow humans, and their local environment.

To learn more about batteries and their role in our future – we recommend the BBC Ideas video - ‘How the humble battery can help save the world’. Remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you have completed this ‘batteries’ challenge.


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