Sunday, December 4, 2011

Paperless Billing - Going Green

Torn PaperEveryone should be going green! The environment needs it and our future needs it. We are all going to have to change the way we live in a big way sooner or later. The question is what we do in the mean time before it all ready hits out lives and changes things forever. What we do now has the potential to set up for a soft landing when that necessary changes comes. Or we can choose to do nothing, pretend everything is fine, and try to survive the hard landing that will inevitably come. 

So if you are trying to figure out what you should be doing to help the best bet is to start thinking of small things that you can be doing to get the ball rolling. Hopefully these small steps will eventually lead to big steps. And even if they stay as small steps if we all start doing them, then can actually add up to have a major beneficial impact!

Paperless Billing

It's one of the easiest things that we can all start doing today and very few of us, as a percentage, do it. I'm actually guilty of this as well. I have just always gotten paper statements in the mail and I'm a bit afraid that without them I'll forget to pay a bill. I do have a few bills that come electronically and I never forget them so really I don't know what I'm worried about. I just need to set up a routine so that whatever reminds me to pay my bills doesn't have to come in my mailbox. Whether it be the email reminder that they send or if it's a remind that I get thought an online financial site like Mint.

So I'm going to make a pledge right now that I hope you will make as well. From now on whenever I am online looking at my billing statements, and the little notice pops up about how I can change to paperless billing, I am going to do it. Every time! I mean if I/you really need the hard copy you can always click through a screen or two and just print it out. I would suggest that you don't ever really need that since you can always access it online, but it's start either way.

How it Helps

There are a lot of ways that going to paperless billing helps. For one, obviously there is way less paper that would be needed each month if all your bills were electronic. Just think how many less trees (which suck up CO2) would have to be cut down if we all went to paperless billing!

Next is the shipping cost. In dollars this is the price of the stamp for the company to mail you the bill. You might argue that you don't care about that because it's not costing you anything. But be assured that anything that costs a company something is getting passed onto the customer. So if we all went paperless it would reduce the cost for the company sending that bill, and potentially they could pass the savings along to us in the form of cheaper prices. Also if you are still mailing a check back to them for payment then you can save the cost of that stamp for yourself too. There is also the carbon footprint involved with the mailing of the hard copies back and forth. There is gas for the truck to drive that letter to you and your payment back. It might not sound like a lot because it's one letter on a truck that was going to make the trip anyway. But even just the weight of one bill is something. And if we all did it then it would really add up. Think of the weight of one piece of paper. It's basically nothing. But then think of the weight of a box of printer paper you get from the office supply store. Now that is something. It wouldn't really take that many people switching to paperless bills to save that much paper a month. I'm thinking maybe 100 people switching would save that!

So the next time the little window pops up, or you see it on your hard copy statement, just click the box and start going paperless!

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