Rechargeable batteries save money and reduce waste

Rechargeable batteries front

Do rechargeable batteries save money and reduce waste?

Rechargeable batteries Vs disposable batteries: Is it really worth the hassle of buying a battery charger and charge the batteries when they run out of power?

Is it not way easier to change an already discharged battery for a new one and just keep that expended battery on a box until you have time to take it to a collection spot?

Well, disposable batteries may have both an economic and a environmental impact so keep reading to know if in your particular case it is is worth to start using rechargeable batteries.

Disposable VS Rechargeable batteries

IKEA has recently made an announcement stating that: 

Following IKEA’s commitment to inspire and enable people to live a healthier and more sustainable life at home, all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries will be removed from the global home furnishing range by October 2021. 

With this decision, IKEA wishes to inspire consumers who need to frequently use batteries to make a switch to rechargeable batteries. 

Regular use over time enables consumers to both save money and reduce waste at home.’ 

On the same announcement, IKEA mentions that:

‘Already after 10 charges of a rechargeable NiMH battery, such as the LADDA range sold in IKEA stores, greenhouse gas emissions are lower as compared to using alkaline batteries to obtain the same amount of energy. 

When about 50 charges are reached, the overall environmental impact [2] of NiMH batteries is equal or even less than the impact of using alkaline batteries.[3]‘ 

As well as:

‘ IKEA sold roughly 300 million ALKALISK alkaline batteries last year and estimates that discontinuing them could lead to a reduction of 5,000 tons of global waste if all customers switched to rechargeable batteries and used them at least 50 cycles (which is just 10% of the 500 charge/discharge cycles each LADDA battery is rated for).’ 

Well, from IKEA’s perspective, it really looks like that it makes sense to change to rechargeable batteries but let’s have a look to what is the economic and environmental impact for the average household.

Is it worth to buy and use rechargeable batteries?

A rechargeable battery it is roughly 4 times more expensive that a disposable battery and on the top of that we also need to buy a battery charger.

Also, charging the batteries must consume some electricity so, does charging batteries increase our electricity bill?

All those factors need to be considered as well as each one’s individual case. 

Rechargeable batteries

If you are an individual and you only use batteries for the TV remote control and maybe for your wireless mouse, then having to buy a batteries charger for the more expensive rechargeable batteries makes no sense. 

This is because maybe you will be using a pack of 8 batteries per year so the payback period would be far too long. In your case, from the money perspective, it makes sense to use disposable batteries

Still, if as an individual you have a hobby (e.g. photography) that requires the frequent use of batteries, than it really makes sense to buy rechargeable batteries.

On the other side, if you have one or more children at home you must know that many toys consume batteries at an alarming rate so in your case it is quite probable that you will be saving money by using rechargeable batteries.

As shown on the picture above, it takes only 16 recharges to pay back the battery charger and the extra cost of having to buy rechargeable batteries. For some families, 16 battery recharges can take place over a single Christmas period…

But, how much does it cost to recharge the batteries? This factor should be considered when deciding if buying rechargeable batteries it is worth, isn’t it?

Well, personally I pay 0,217 per every kWh I consume and using a plug in power meter I have measured that charging 4 AAA batteries has cost me just over 2 cents. The cost of charging the batteries it is nearly negligible.

The environmental impact of disposable or rechargeable batteries

But, apart from the cost, there is another very important factor that we need to have in consideration. The environmental impact.

According to a publication on The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment: ‘For the impact categories Acidification, Human toxicity (cancer effects), and Particulate matter, an “inefficient” use of the rechargeable devices (for only 20 charge cycles or less) could cause higher impacts than the employment of disposable batteries. 

Additionally, in the same publication it is stated: ‘Moreover, for the Ozone depletion, NiMH batteries are hardly environmentally better than alkaline batteries even with 150 recharges.’

And as conclusions and recommendations, the following it is mentioned in the publication: ‘The number of uses of rechargeable batteries plays a key role on their environmental and energy performances. When compared to disposable batteries, a minimum number of 50 charge cycles permits a robust reduction of the potential impacts for all the analyzed indicators excluding the Ozone depletion. Hence, the use of rechargeable batteries should be mostly encouraged for high consumption devices such as cameras, torches, and electronic toys.’

Well, all in all we come back to the same situation. If you are an individual barely using batteries, it may actually not be environmentally friendly to buy rechargeable batteries.

If you are an individual using a big quantity of batteries because you are into photography, or you have a hobby that requires many batteries, most probably you will be recharging the batteries 50 or more times within a few months. In your case, using rechargeable batteries you would be reducing your impact to our ecology.

And, in the same situation, if you have small children at home and plenty of toys using batteries, from the environmental perspective it makes sense to buy rechargeable batteries.

Conclusion

It seems that the key factor to decide what type of battery is better for you it is the number of times you will be recharging it.

If a rechargeable battery is disposed before going through 50 recharges, the environmental impact is greater than using disposable batteries.

From the money saving perspective, if you are using a significant amounts of batteries per year, or even per month, it is really worth to consider to swap to rechargeable batteries.

Where to buy a battery charger and some rechargeable batteries

It is up to you but I personally use the most basic and economic battery charger I found in the market. 

If you want to have an idea of the cost range, have a look to the battery chargers in Amazon. Amazon sells some rather economic AAA/AA battery chargers as well as an assorted range of rechargeable batteries.

Have a look, compare the reviews and decide which one suits your needs. 

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If you are looking for tips and advice on how to save some electricity, have a look to this video that we have prepared about this very same topic.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

Additionally, if you are looking for energy saving opportunities but you don’t know where to start, use our electricity usage calculators to become aware of your electricity consumption, the electricity costs and the potential savings. 

A few ‘Electricity usage calculators‘ examples:

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

Energy efficient appliance payback period

Fridge payback period

Energy efficient appliance payback period

An appliance that uses less power it is going to consume less electricity, there is nothing to argue here…

But, is it worth to pay more money for an appliance that uses less power? 

For example, as shown on the image below, if you have to chose between a more expensive but a more efficient appliance or a more economic but less efficient appliance, which one would you choose?

Fridge payback period

Buying an efficient fridge payback period

The payback period refers to the amount of time that it takes to recover an investment.

The more efficient fridge (A+++) it is 260 Euro more expensive than the less efficient one (A++) but it uses less electricity. Only 174 kWh per year, which is significantly less than the 252 kWh per year that the less efficient fridge will be using.

If we want to know if buying the more expensive fridge it is a good decision, we need to find out how long it will take to recover those 260 Euro through electricity savings.

Energy Efficient Appliance

Well, assuming a prize of 0,17 Euro per kWh, it will take us 20 years to recover those additional 260 Euro that it will cost to buy the more expensive fridge

The problem here is that it is very unlikely that a fridge will last for so long. Therefore, at 0,17 Euro per kWh, buying the more economic but less efficient fridge it is the best choice.

Payback period calculator

Of course, not everyone pays the same prize per kWh so in order to know if buying a more efficient but a more expensive home appliance makes sense, we need to run some calculations.

With the calculator below, anyone can easily calculate the total cost (appliance cost + electricity cost) over time and decide which appliance is the most economic to buy.

 

As a rule of thumb, the higher it is the cost per kWh, the more makes sense to buy energy efficient appliances. If you don’t know what a kWh is or how much you are paying per kWh, have a look to this post where we explain those concepts.

Save electricity and save money

If what you are looking after is to save on electricity, have a look to our electricity page and let us show you other ways to reduce your electricity consumption and save money on your bills. 

Energy efficient bulbs

Alternatively, we have prepared some videos about this topic that can also be of your interest.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

Additionally, if you are looking for energy saving opportunities but you don’t know where to start, use our electricity usage calculators to become aware of your electricity consumption, the electricity costs and the potential savings. 

A few ‘Electricity usage calculators‘ examples:

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

Home electricity consumption calculators

Lamp electricity consumption calculator

Home electricity consumption calculators

It is on your interest to find out how much electricity you are using at home. 

– Do you know how much electricity your appliances are consuming? Your fridge, your washing machine, your tumble dryer…

– Do you know how much electricity you are consuming to illuminate your house? 

– Do you know how much electricity your home devices are consuming? The router that it is powered on 24×7, the PC monitor that it is in stand by mode while not in use, …

If you know how much electricity you are using at home, you can calculate the cost. Once you know the cost, it is easy to calculate how much money you could be saving by reducing your power consumption.

Effiworkx have made available several calculators that will help you finding out your home electricity consumption.

Lamps and bulbs electricity consumption calculator

Lamp electricity consumption calculator

The easiest way to know how much power it is being used to illuminate our houses, and the cost, it is to calculate the consumption and the cost of small units.

For example, if we have a lamp in our living room with seven bulbs and we know that the lamp it is used an average of 4 hours a day, we can easily calculate the power and cost consumption over time.

Another example, if in our bedroom we have 5 bulbs of the same power rating and we estimate that they are powered on 1 hour every day, we can easily find out how much electricity they are consuming and how much it is costing us.

Once we know how much we are consuming and the cost, we can also easily figure out how much we would be saving by swapping to more efficient bulbs or by decreasing the usage.

IncandescentCFLLED
40 W8-12 W4-5 W
60 W13-18 W6-8 W
75 W18-22 W9-13 W
100 W23-30 W16-20 W
 

Standby electricity consumption calculator

Many houses have devices that are powered on 24×7, for example the router and the fridge.

We all want to have internet available at any time but it is good to be aware of much money it is costing us. Once we know the cost, next time that we need to buy a new router and we have to chose between two models, we will be making sure to buy the one which is consuming less.

Devices consuming electricity 24x7

In occasions, specially for small devices, we power rating tag is not showing the power consumption is Watts (W) or Kilowatts (kW). But once we know the voltage and current consumption, we can easily calculate the power consumption.

 

If the know the power consumption, for how long we are using the device every day and how much we are paying to our electricity provide per Kilowatt hour (kWh) consumed, we can calculate the power consumption and the cost over time.

 

Devices and appliances electricity consumption calculator

In general, it is simple to calculate our devices and appliances power consumption and cost over time, we just need to know:

– The device or appliance power rating

– For how long we are using the device or appliance any single day, in average.

– How much we are paying to our electricity supplier for every kWh we are consuming.

 

This calculator can give you an estimate of the power consumption and the cost but the most accurate way to find out the consumption of any device or appliance is to use a plug in power meter.

Plug in power meter electricity consumption

Buying an energy efficient appliance: is it worth?

Energy efficient appliances consume less electricity which means that we will be paying less every month on electricity bill. So far, it sounds good, isn’t it?

What we need to be aware of is that the energy efficient appliances are usually more expensive and we will be paying more for that energy efficient fridge, washing machine, dishwasher,…

The question here is, is it worth to pay that additional money to buy an energy efficient appliance that will be consuming less electricity?

Energy Efficient Appliance

We need to be very careful, because in occasions it is not profitable to buy a more efficient appliance because it may take many years for the monthly savings to offset the cost of buying that extra efficient appliance.

 

Reduce your consumption - Save electricity and money

All in all, there will be many ways at home to reduce our electricity consumption and save money and you just need to know where to look at.

Do you know much electricity (kWh) do your household consume? Ours it is consuming an average of 2700 kWh every year.

Our home electricity consumption in kWh

If you know your yearly power consumption you can also find out if your consumption is average when compared to your region or country. 

Find out how much you can save, for example, by reducing your heating consumption or by reducing your household consumption by 10%, 20% or even more.

 

If you are looking for tips and advice on how to save some electricity, have a look to this video that we have prepared about this very same topic.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

Nimiq

What is Nimiq

Nimiq makes learning about crypto simple and easy

For most of the people, cryptocurrency and blockchain are vaguely familiar terms which are associated to Bitcoin and ‘stuff’ too complicate to understand or learn about.

To bridge the gap, Nimiq is making crypto simple and easy to use so everyone can learn about blockchain technology and start using cryptocurrencies.

The financial system revolution is already here and Nimiq will be your gateway towards learning and understanding cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. There are many opportunities already available to those who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and grab them. Will you?

What is Nimiq

How to open a NIMIQ account

Nimiq can be used by anyone who have access to a web browser (Brave, Chrome, Firefox,Opera,…). 

You can create a NIMIQ account in no time… if you don’t care too much about the avatar. 

If you are actually looking for a cute avatar, to open an account it may take a couple of minutes until you find the right one…

Just give it a try and you will see.

create Nimiq account

Once you have created you first account, there are a few of ways to start earning your first NIM coins. After all, you don’t want just an empty account…

Earning NIM through a NIM faucet

First and easiest, you can get some small quantity of NIM through this Nimiq faucet

It used to be possible to get 1 NIM per day but recently the amount has been reduced to 0,1 NIM. Still, this is a super simple way to earn some NIM every 24 hours.

Nimiq faucet

Earning NIM by mining

The second way to get some coins it is by mining NIM through a web browser. Without going into too much detail, anyone can mine NIM through a web browser (Brave, Chrome, Firefox,Opera,…) but you must be aware that it will take processing power and electricity.

Still, if you are using your PC or laptop anyway, it may be worth to have the Nimiq web browser miner running in the background as the additional amount of electricity consumed will not be significant. This way of earning NIM can be considered a way to earn passive income.

Just be aware that mining consumes CPU power which may make your PC run slower, but the processing power usage can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the number of threads.

The process it is quite straightforward, once you know the basics, so it could be useful to first watch some Youtube videos and get to know the basics. Simply go to YouTube, type something like  ‘mining NIM through web browser’ and have a look to a couple of videos. 

As you can see, we mine NIM on daily basis and the rewards are automatically paid to our account.

Mining NIM

Mining NIM through the web browser is not the fastest or the most efficient way no mine NIM. As an alternative, it is possible to install a desktop miner which mines NIM at much quicker rate.

As shown in the picture below, with an i7 PC we are able to reach up to 31 kh/s which is around 10 times faster than mining NIM through the web browser.

Again, it is a quite straightforward process but could be useful to have a look to some YouTube videos first to know the basics.

Nimiq desktop miner

Earn NIM through donations

The third way is through donations. If you have a website you can add a NIM button so anyone with a Nimiq account can donate NIM to you.

Donate NIM button

This a more limited option available to those who have a website or a blog but if you want to see how it works, scroll down to the bottom of this page to see our donate NIM button.

Where to use your NIM

Well, after earning some NIM maybe you may want to spend them so you have some options like purchasing gift cards or products from the Nimiq shop.

Eventually, maybe by middle next year, there will be more ways to use our NIM. Have a look to the Nimiq roadmap every so often to know about what are the plans of the Nimiq team and what they are planning to deploy.

Buy gift card with NIMIQ

By the way, one very good deal is to purchase a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet though the Nimiq shop so you can store your NIM on an extra secure location.

That you don’t know what is hardware wallet?! Well, that is normal because you have just started you Crypto journey and little by little, day by day, you will increase your knowledge.

Keep learning

By now you should already be a proud owner of a Nimiq account, have got some NIM through and faucet and, maybe, have mined some NIM. 

In the process, I hope that you have made your account safe by downloading and safely stored your login file and learnt how important it is to keep your account safe.

This post is just meant to show you a handy way to start giving your first crypto steps though the Nimiq blockchain. Now it is up to you to keep walking and leaning more.

 

 Let us know what do you think of this post. We have tried to keep it simple but we can expand it if anyone has questions or wants more details 

How to save electricity at home

If you are considering to mine Nimiq or any other cryptocurrency, you must know that mining can consume quite a bit of electricity. 

Still, there are ways to save electricity at home that can compensate for the electricity used for mining crypto.

In this video we are showing you where we are using the most electricity at home and ways to reduce your electricity consumption.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

Additionally, if you are looking for energy saving opportunities but you don’t know where to start, use our electricity usage calculators to become aware of your electricity consumption, the electricity costs and the potential savings. 

A few ‘Electricity usage calculators‘ examples:

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

Bringing life to old laptop with Ubuntu

old laptop ubuntu

How to bring life to an old laptop with Ubuntu

At some point or another, that laptop that has served us well for so many years it to become to ‘old’ to run operating systems, such as Windows 10, that require more up to date hardware.

This doesn’t means that we cannot use that old laptop anymore, because if it still works if would be a waste to throw it away. Instead, we can install an operating system that has lower system requirements.

And here it comes the best part, Linux based operating systems like Ubuntu are free, has much lower system requirements than Windows and can be installed easily and in no time.

old laptop ubuntu

Installing Ubuntu on an old laptop

Ubuntu can not only be downloaded from their official page but also they provide instructions on how to install it or even the option to try it before installing it by running it from an USB.

As Ubuntu it is very well known and used, it has a lot of community support and a lot of resources are available on the net. Any doubt, question, clarification or already has an answer readily available or can be asked to the Ubuntu community.

As a warning, I must say that using Ubuntu may not that straightforward as using Windows. It requires some time to get used to any Linux distribution and some task like installing additional software may require some time and specific knowledge. 

Said that, if that old laptop it is only required for some basic tasks like browsing internet or watching a movie, Ubuntu can deployed and used straight away.

Install Ubuntu

Giving the old laptop new and useful purposes

Let’s explore our option for an old laptop…

That old laptop can be used as a first PC for a young teenager, a PC that can be used and ‘destroyed’ without incurring in a major loss. 

In this case, an old laptop with Ubuntu it is just ideal because it can be the gateway to further knowledge like computer programming. We all know how smart our small children are and how quickly they can grasp new knowledge so that old laptop with Linux and a readily available command line may bring out the programming genie inside of that child or teenager.

In the worst case, the child will ‘break’ something and we just need to reinstall the free Ubuntu operating system.

Another option, maybe one that it is not in most people’s mind, it is to use to mine cryptocurrencies. Most people has heard about Bitcoin and that it is possible to mine it using some powerful hardware, but bitcoin it is not the only cryptocurrency that can be mined.

This relatively ‘young’ but with a lot of potential cryptocurrency called Nimiq, can be mined using a web browser and without the need to specific and expensive hardware. The old laptop with Ubuntu may be your gateway to learn about cryptocurrencies, the mining of cryptocurrencies and even the source of some passive income. 

Note that mining will consume power and our electricity bill may increase because of the higher power consumption. It is up to you, the person reading this article, to assess if Nimiq mining it is or it will be profitable and a possible passive income source.

There are other many uses that can be given to that old laptop and we will be updating this article with new possibilities. 

How to reduce your home expenses

If you are looking for tips and advice on how to reduce your home expenses, have a look to this video that we have prepared about how to save electricity at home.

All our videos can be found in YouTube, in both English and Spanish languages.

Additionally, if you are looking for energy saving opportunities but you don’t know where to start, use our electricity usage calculators to become aware of your electricity consumption, the electricity costs and the potential savings. 

A few ‘Electricity usage calculators‘ examples:

We hope that you have found this post informative and of value for you. If so, do not forget to share so others can also benefit from it.

Earn while surfing the web

Brave Presearch featured image

Earn Brave and Presearch tokens while surfing the web

Many of us spend a considerable amount of time every day using our laptops, PCs, tables or mobile phones for surfing the web. 

Those devices use electricity and bandwidth that we need to pay every month. 

Over time, relatively small amounts of electricity or bandwidth may account for a significant expense.

Why not to maximize the time that we spend browsing the internet by earning some BAT or PRE tokens and then exchange those tokens to FIAT money (Euro, Dollar, Pound, Zloty,…). 

You can use those earnings to pay for part of our electricity bill or some additional bandwidth…

earn with brave browser

The Brave browser

No so long ago I started getting interested in the blockchain technology and, of course, into cryptocurrencies. To keep the story short, a piece of information lead to another piece of information and then I got to know about the Brave browser and Presearch search engine projects.

The first one, the Brave browser is a relatively new browser with a very similar look to other more known browsers, like Google Chrome, but with additional benefits like enhanced security, lower data usage or increased privacy

The brave browser automatically blocks ads and trackers while you surf the web which leads to a decreased bandwidth usage, faster content load and less time for us users waiting for the web pages to load. 

Brave browser bandwidth

Additionally, the Brave browser is giving to their users BAT tokens for clicking on ads

Clicking on ads is utterly optional and the ads can be totally disabled while still enjoying a quick browser, with lower data usage and increased privacy features. But for those who don’t mind to click on relevant ads every so often, the browser is giving BAT tokens for every click. Once a month those tokens become available and they are transferred to an account from which those tokens can be redeemed.

As shown on the picture at the top of this post, last month I have earned a little over 11 BAT which are the equivalent to 2,5 euro. Maybe not a big amount of money but it will definitely will help with paying for the electricity used by my computer.

Note that to in order to use to BAT tokens and transform them into FIAT currencies or other crypto assets, it is mandatory to have a crypto wallet and know how to use it. The brave browser works with a wallet named Uphold, and on that wallet we can transform our BAT tokens to other crypto currencies, Fiat money or even gold.

Uphold cards

Bonus tip

If you are a Global Hive* user, your daily cryptocurrency gains are multiplied by 10X if you are a Brave Browser user

*Global Hive is a crypto faucet and another way of earning small amounts of crypto, in this case Zcash (ZEC) 

Global Hive screenshot

The Presearch search engine

In addition to the Brave browser, I am also using the Presearch search engine. Until now I was using Google for my searches but I have swapped to Presearch because not only I can run my searches but also earn some PRE tokens in the process. 

To be fair, Presearch it is not yet at Google’s level and every so often I need to run some specific searches on Google. 

At the moment I am not expending my PRE tokens because as an small content creator I will eventually stake to tokens towards getting more traffic to my website. Still, once the Presearch engine becomes more widely used, the tokens may increase in value and then I may decide to swap those tokens for cash. 

Earn with Presearch

Bonus Presearch Tip

If you are a content creator and you want to promote your content, you can create ads by staking your Presearch tokens. You still keep the ownership of your token and until approximately January 2020 there is no cost for any traffic generated by your ads. 

Just be aware that you need a minimum of 1000 tokens. Apart from that,  it is cost free promotion for your website.

Stacking Presearch Tokens

Blockchain projects and Cryptocurrencies - Step out of your comfort zone

The bottom point is, if you are going to use a computer browser anyway and you are going to make some searches every so often, why not to be efficient and earn some BAT and PRE tokens in the process.

Also, this may be an effortless and profitable way to start learning about those blockchain projects that are going to become more and more widely used in the near future. For those new to the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, terms like tokens may be  bit alien and there may be some initial learning involved, but for those who are willing to step out of the comfort zones, there are rewards waiting to be found and collected.

Visit the Brave and Presearch websites and they will guide you through the process of installing the Brave browser and the Presearch search engine. From there, it is just matter of learning a bit more about crypto wallets and crypto currencies which it is a knowledge which will be of great value in the near future.