SustainAbility: Relying on printed material
The electronic age is in full swing so there is no need to be buried in an avalanche of paper anymore. You can reduce clutter and improve the environment by choosing electronic delivery instead of relying on printed material.
Most companies and financial institutions allow you to opt out of paper delivery. This can include bills, statements, reports and other correspondence. Complete the cycle and further reduce paper use by paying your bills electronically. You can still print out essential documents if you feel it is necessary.
Making a change at your home may not seem like a big deal but according to PayItGreen Alliance if one in five American households switched to electronic bills, statements and payments, the payoff would be big.
Because manufacture and transport of paper is a dirty business, we could avoid producing nearly 2 million tons of greenhouse gases each year. The effort also would reduce the amount of wastewater produced by millions of gallons and preserve close to 2 million trees.
You can find more interesting facts at http://www.payitgreen.org.
Over the course of the last three years I have slowly converted every possible transaction to electronic mode, including incoming information and bill payments.
I am happy to report the city of Grand Junction recently provided an electronic option for bills. They are not yet set up to send out email reminders, so you have to check your e-bill each month.
The Mesa County Assessor’s Office will now send an email rather than a paper copy for notice of valuation of your property.
Last spring I finally took the plunge and stopped balancing my checkbook. Instead I view my credit union accounts online almost every day to keep an eye on things.
You also can use electronic delivery for solicitations and information from many charities and nonprofits. Taking advantage of this option has reduced greatly the flow of paper into my house. I have found some organizations are better than others at following through on requests.
You can stop receiving unwanted catalogs and junk mail, too.
Each company or organization has a slightly different procedure for going paperless so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
A small investment of time can make a huge difference on the road to sustainability.