With an ever-growing list of recycling specifications, doing something positive for the environment can sometimes get聽confusing. But you don鈥檛 have to live in a magical green home聽or wear an ocean-cleaning bikini聽to make a difference. April is Earth Month, and聽the perfect time to learn about little things you can do to help our planet, like taking a cue from The Golden State.聽Although California is currently the only place in the country聽where throwing a聽rechargeable battery聽in the trash is considered illegal, we think聽properly recycling聽them聽is good practice for everyone.

Recycle-Batteries

So in honor of Earth Month and Earth Day (which falls on April 22), we鈥檝e put together a beginner鈥檚 guide to help you master the fine art of disposing of batteries the right way.

Batteries

Single-Use Batteries

Following the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act of 1996,聽the use of dangerous mercury in alkaline batteries was phased out, making them less of a hazard when disposed of in landfills. That being said, they鈥檙e still recyclable, and it鈥檚 totally worth going the extra mile.

Many cities and counties offer services that collect single-use alkaline batteries during waste collection events, while others have set up聽drop-off locations and even mail-in programs.

The聽fact is that聽batteries are rarely聽completely dead when you thrown聽them out. That may not sound like a problem, but聽if you dispose of them in a group, they鈥檒l likely begin reacting with聽one another, which聽can cause聽serious safety risks. So take聽an extra step next time and recycle single-use batteries, then give yourself a high five.

AA battery and recharge

Rechargeable Batteries

Batteries come in all shapes, sizes and compositions. But聽whether we鈥檙e talking about the AA battery in your remote or the specialty one in your phone, rechargeable batteries should always be recycled. They contain valuable heavy metals, like lithium-ion, which shouldn鈥檛 be dumped in a landfill because a) they鈥檙e聽bad for the planet and b) there are better uses for聽them.

What are you supposed to do with these batteries once they鈥檝e stopped working? The first step would be to look up the聽Call2Recycle program by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a nonprofit founded by Duracell.聽Simply visit their website, and they鈥檒l be able to help you find聽the rechargeable battery recycling location that鈥檚 closest to you. Once you鈥檝e got the address, drop 鈥檈m all off and they鈥檒l take care of the rest.

Car battery isolated on white background

Car Batteries

These batteries contain lead, so disposing of them properly is extremely聽important. The good news is that most car dealers and service centers are聽actually willing to buy used car batteries for recycling. That聽means you can make some green while doing something green.聽Hooray!

Do you recycle your batteries? Tweet us @BritandCo.

(Feature photo via Getty)