To point out the very obvious, the demand for portable power has never been greater, and will only continue to grow; in the U.S. alone, we buy (and eventually throw out) more than three billion batteries a year, and some 350 million rechargeables. That's a staggering volume, and it accounts for an incredibly lucrative multibillion-dollar business. Yet a single alkaline battery is basically a mini, do-it-yourself Superfund site kit. Each battery contains a smorgasbord of poisonous chemicals and heavy metals—mercury, cadmium, lead, lithium, etc.—a who's-who of the worst things you could ever dump in a landfill. Inevitably, these compounds leach into the soil and groundwater, as we continue to throw out large quantities of batteries every day. It blows my mind how something so awful, and so easily remedied, is still so commonplace.