Monday, February 21, 2011

Healthy Mouse Batteries?

My mouse has been bothering me. I persist in using a mouse tethered to my computer via the umbilical cord because I try not to use batteries. Batteries are just plain toxic. But, I confess, the tail of my mouse gets in the way. It gets tangled up and sometimes it has to be shoved out of the way or the mouse runs over its own tail. Poor thing.

I know, small potatoes in the name of being Green. Everywhere I look we are switching to wireless mice so the time may come soon when my mouse dies with a small squeak (or not) and I cannot replace it with anything but the tail-less version. So I have been researching batteries. In general, throughout my living space I use rechargeable batteries. Fewer heavy metals and other noxious chemicals go in the landfills. But eventually they do go in the landfills. And as the following site describes, though they beat normal batteries hands down, even a rechargeable battery is on some level bad news:

The page claims that NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) rechargeable batteries are environmentally friendly but this is true only by comparison to the other rechargeables. Although the disposal hazard is reduced because there is no (highly toxic) Cadmium in NiMH batteries, the site neglects to mention that there can be significant environmental degradation from current mining practices and processing of the base components.

What is a mouse user to do...

I found something really cool... How about a living mouse! No, I'm not suggesting you train a furry creature to let you hold it and scoot it around on the table with an antennae of some sort attached to it. PETA would probably be on *my* tail really fast - with justification. (Besides, you know what mice like to do besides eat)

Not yet ready for prime time, but MIT is at work on a virus-driven battery!  What a totally cool idea. The viruses "create a cathode by coating themselves with iron phosphate and then grabbing hold of carbon nanotubes" (full article below). Cool. I think. It gives new meaning to "reach out and touch someone".  Now if we all had these little critters powering our mice just think of the good it would do for the environment. I could get rid of my umbilical tail. And then maybe we could replace the battery in my laptop as well?

I wonder what viruses they use...

In the interests of science I am currently looking for a friend who would like to test one under my supervision as soon as they become available.


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1 comment:

  1. Well, I saw a real mouse/rat in my local Dunkins Donuts store this morning.