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 … Are any of the batteries you found re-chargeable – they’re much better for our planet!
Your challenge this week is to take ‘charge’ of used batteries! Find a box or bowl to collect them in and take them to your nearest recycling point. Recycling batteries means their raw materials can be extracted and re-used – avoiding carbon emissions related to mining. A innovative Singaporean recycling plant can recycle up to 90% of lithium battery components – and uses waste fruit peel to extract the precious metals! As of 1st May 2023, there are, apparently, 8.030,814, 690 people in the world … how many are there in your school? Tackling climate change and looking after our planet needs EVERYONE - ‘As Greta Thunberg said – ‘Every single person counts’, and in this case every single battery counts.
Batteries however also play an important role in helping us to tackle climate change – 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! All batteries are reliant on raw materials mined from the earth, such as lithium, graphite, lead, nickel, steel, cadmium, cobalt, zinc, copper, aluminium and manganese. These resources are finite – they will run out, so we need to conserve them and recycle as much as possible. A reduced need for mining new minerals will lessen our impact on climate change, as well as reducing the substantial negative impact of mining on nature and biodiversity.
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 BUTTONwhen you have completed this ‘batteries’ challenge.