receipt-less [weekly simple eco tip, 6.19]

What's the most annoying thing you can think of cluttering your purse, car or countertop in your house? Probably a wad of crumpled receipts, right? The ones above are the ones currently residing in my own purse, and that's actually a small pile compared to normal.

So, one very simple eco tip is to simply refuse receipts when you're asked, or inform the cashier ahead of time that you won't need a printed receipt. Now, of course, some places automatically print receipts for you, and would just throw them away if you tell them you don't want it, so there's really no winning solution at those times (since receipt paper is not always recyclable, and many receipts may contain BPA). But if you're asked before the receipt is printed, simply tell the cashier you don't need a receipt. One of the easiest places to do this is at the gas pump. My favorite places are the ones who ask if you would like a receipt emailed or texted to you – such as many places who use Square for credit card transactions.

Of course, sometimes receipts are necessary – such as for large purchases or when you purchase something you may decide to return later (though some places can accept returns without a receipt, with conditions), or when you are purchasing something on behalf of your workplace and need to submit receipts for reimbursement. And the point is not necessarily to never accept a receipt again in your life, but to cut down when you can. If you don't need one, don't take one. If you do need one, then at least that receipt is serving its purpose, and not just being another piece of waste.

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