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National Battery Day

The inventor of the battery, Italian physicist Allesandro Volta, was born on today's date in 1745. National Battery Day marks his birth, acknowledges the importance of the battery, and is an annual awareness day to focus attention on the importance of recycling batteries. A battery is an electric cell that produces electricity from a chemical reaction. The name "battery" was coined by Ben Franklin in 1748, and was a term applied to "charged glass plates" at that time. At the turn of the nineteenth century, Allesandro Volta invented the voltaic pile, which is known as being the first battery or "wet cell battery." It was made of alternating discs of zinc and copper, along with pieces of cardboard soaked in brine, and produced a "reliable, steady current of electricity."

When batteries are recycled, they stay out of landfills, the planet is protected, fires are reduced (caused by batteries in the garbage), and natural resources are conserved. Unfortunately, less than half of people recycle batteries. National Battery Day aims to reduce that and encourages people to not only recycle batteries today but on every day of the year. The Battery Council International, Essential Energy Everyday, and Call2Recycle have been involved in the day, and battery manufacturers and recyclers use the day to highlight the benefits of recycling batteries with policymakers and regulators.

How to Observe

Here are a few ideas to jump-start your National Battery Day celebration:

  • Acknowledge the importance of batteries by using as many items you have that contain batteries. From large items like vehicles to small items like watches and cell phones, there are many items we use every day that contain batteries.
  • Go through your junk drawers, closets, and garage and gather together batteries to recycle. First, make sure you have prepared to recycle them, and then find a location to take them. You could also start your own battery recycling program.
  • Purchase rechargeable batteries.
  • Check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Learn more about the history of batteries.
  • Read a book about Allesandro Volta.

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