From eco-friendly water bottles to equally green dog toys, we thought we’d seen it all. But really, it was only a matter of time before something took us by surprise — like… An eco-friendly battery?! Thanks to a team of scientists at the University of Southern California (USC), you may soon be able to ditch those lithium-ion batteries for water-based, organic alternatives.

Yup. No longer will you have to feel guilty when you throw away your batteries (finding that special recycling bin is HARD!). The organic batteries work similar to those that are currently sitting in your wireless mouse. The main difference is that the organic redux flow batteries rely on a combination of water and organic energy-producing compounds called Quinones — the same compounds that are found in plants and bacteria for cellular processes like photosynthesis and cellular respiration.

Besides being green and cost effective, these batteries have an impressive lifespan. They’re expected to last for about 15 years, or 5,000 recharges while acid batteries have a lifespan of only one year. Other batteries, like lithium-ion batteries, cost much more to manufacture and can only be recharged 1,000 times.

In the future we may see these batteries being used in wind and solar power plants. They’re that powerful!

Currently the battery is still in the lab phase, but the USC team has high hopes that this will change the way we think about energy. If all goes according to plan, we might soon enjoy clean energy at half the price. That is something we can all get excited about.

As we wait for this battery to become commercially available, what tips do you have for affordable ways to go green? Let us know in the comments below!

(h/t Gizmag)