all about the green

It’s not difficult to make the transition to greener finances. (If only it were as easy to have greener finances in the sense of HAVING more green...) So many companies these days are making the switch to paperless bills and online bill pay even easier. If you create an online account with each company, you should be able to find the option in your account settings or preferences

ATT allows you to choose paperless bills and receive email reminders instead. When I branched out to my own contract last year, I immediately changed my preferences to paperless billing, and I have had no trouble with it since then.

I’ve also made the switch to paperless billing with my utility company, Internet provider, gym, water provider, credit card and auto/renters insurance. The impact on the paper reduction just from these is pretty impressive for one person. The only one left to switch is health insurance. I’ve effectively cut my need to check my mail in half. I manage to keep myself organized and on-time paying bills through a special email folder for bills, a calendar of due dates with 5-day-out reminders, and scheduled online bill pay. I believe the only bill I still pay manually is my rent. And when I do need to use checks, I can use my recycled paper checks, featuring the recycling symbol.

When switching to paperless bills, many times you can also switch to paperless statements. This way, you can reduce more mail and stacks of paper lying around your home. One easy way to save your statements is by saving the PDF to a password-protected folder on your computer. You maintain privacy over the folder while sparing yourself of paper, and you still have the option of printing a statement in the future should you need to.

With online banking, it’s easy to see a list of your transactions, reducing the need for receipts in some cases. If I’m making a stop at the ATM or gas station, I don’t find I need a receipt, and I have the option to choose no receipt. My vehicle appreciates one less piece of paper floating around, and I appreciate saving it for someone who may actually need it (and hope it’s not for someone who will immediately throw their receipt away). It would be nice to always be asked if you’d like a receipt after a transaction, but most stores will give you one automatically. But where you have the option - skip the receipt!

By getting bills emailed to you, paying online and skipping receipts, you’re well on your way to saving large amounts of paper - for very minimal effort and no cost.

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