21 December 2007

Salvage batteries when weeding out old toys

I had a DUH moment when reading Duane's hack and realizing how many perfectly good batteries I've thrown away:

If you're like us, part of the approaching holiday season is weeding out the older toys to make room. Before you go putting toys into the attic (or trashing them), take a second to take out the batteries.  I mean, why waste them?  I reclaimed 9 AA's this afternoon.  True they're not fully charged, but if there's a toy sitting around with dead batteries and you have no new ones in the house, you might as well give it some hand-me-down batteries.

Tip: Keep a small Phillips head screwdriver near your batteries so you can easily open the screw-on batter covers to swap them out.

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Also, unless the toys are broken, please don't "trash" them.

Goodwill gladly accepts used toys and the children who get them used will love them as much as new.

Just to add to Bob's comment: charities that serve children are usually overwhelmed with donated used toys in mid and late December.

One Christmas, my agency put all the second-hand toys donated after December 15th into black plastic garbage bags to sort through after Christmas. By the first week in January, we had *37* 30-gallon bags of toys, games, and stuffed animals in our basement.

If you call, most will say "sure, bring 'em down" for fear of losing goodwill - but in truth if you can find a corner for your donations until January, it will be a great blessing to the charity not to have to find staff to sort or space to store them at this time of the year.

Another reason to remove the old batteries is that the *removed* batteries will never leak ;)

Don't overlook the usefulness of weak batteries for the noisy, annoying toys your toddler can't/won't give up: It'll work for a couple days and then, blessed silence once again. "Sorry, honey, it's run down again. I'm sure Papa can fix it when he gets home."

One of the advantages of carrying a small multi-tool is you can always extract batteries from annoying toys with the Phillips screwdriver.

I'm surprised that any parent uses normal batteries for toys...we've been using the rechargable ones for about 2 years now, and it's HEAVEN. We *always* have batteries charged and ready to go (when they come out of the toy, they go in the charger). And even better, we have an adapter that converts AA's into C's and D's :-).

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