Americans buy about three billion household batteries (about 10 per person) annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency—and nearly all of them end up in landfills. The next time you need to power up your gadgets, choose rechargeable batteries instead. Unlike disposable alkaline batteries, rechargeable batteries can be reused hundreds of times, which not only saves money and resources, but also reduces global warming pollution associated with battery manufacturing and transport. An independent study conducted for battery manufacturer UNIROSS estimates that using a disposable battery to create 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity has a global warming impact equivalent to driving a car 283 miles; using a rechargeable battery is equivalent to driving 10 miles.

Rechargeable battery technology continues to evolve, but there are only a few types widely available today:

No matter which type of rechargeable batteries you use, you can make them even greener using these strategies: