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Electronic Bills, Convenience and Sustainability

PaperworkHow many bills do you get per month? If you’re like the vast majority of North Americans, you get a boatload. And every month, you probably take one look at them, pay the bill, and then shred it and toss it into your recycling bin.

While I still get excited when I get mail that is addressed to me, I’m not quite as excited about it when it turns out to be yet another bill. Recently though, I’ve found some services that have let me avoid getting bills in the mail (unfortunately, for some reason, I still have to pay them… I haven’t quite figured out how to avoid that aspect yet!).

For those of you who have not availed yourselves of it, there are services available that will help. From the post office’s e-post service, to getting your monthly reminders from your biller (Mastercard, cell phone), you can reduce the amount of paper that you receive in a month.

The best part of all? If you are self-employed or someone who enjoys making the most of various tax write-offs and therefore need copies of your bills just in case of an audit, with electronic bills in pdf format, you can always just store them on your hardrive, rather than adding them to bulging file-folders.

According to PayItGreen, If the average household were to switch to electronic bills, it would save:

  • Save 6.6 pounds of paper
  • Save 0.079 trees
  • Avoid use of 4.5 gallons of gasoline to mail bills, statements, and payments
  • Avoid release of 63 gallons of wastewater into the environment
  • Avoid producing 171 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions

Saving this amount of greenhouse gas emissions is the equivalent of:

  • The emissions avoided by not driving 169 miles
  • The emissions avoided by not consuming 8.8 gallons of gasoline
  • Planting 2 tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for 10 years
  • Preserving 24 square feet of forestland

Not too shabby, is it? Electronic bills, more convenient AND more sustainable.

For more on saving paper:

Photo credit: kozumel via Flickr’s Media Commons

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