Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Little Things to Save Mother Earth

I was thinking about my personal habits today, and one of them was my love of paper.

I Love You, Paper. I love getting things in the mail, ripping them open, realizing they consist of one paper's worth of information and the rest is trash. I love the righteous feeling that comes from heaving a paper grocery bag's worth of paper into the recycling bin. I love printing stuff out; it feels so illicit. I love taking paper lists to the store with me. Writing notes on paper. The list (ha) goes on.

However...I realize I need to eliminate the waste.

Little things I have done?

- I signed up to have my mortgage paid electronically on the 5th of every month. This means I don't waste a check, envelope, and 41 cents extra in postage to pay my mortgage. I also signed up to have my HOA dues paid electronically on the 5th as well.

- I just signed up to have my last three credit card statements "go paperless". If you are a Citi card holder, they will plant a tree on your behalf when you do this, which is kind of neat! (My most recent credit card, a Chase Visa which has a pretty nice rewards / rebate structure, was automatically paperless).

- I tried to have my electricity bill sent electronically, but for some reason, the City of Seattle's electricity company can't get with the times, even though they encourage you to sign up for a premium electricity rate that ensures the power you use (or, rather, an equivalent amount) comes from renewable energy sources.

What benefits do these actions have for me?

- the company who is billing me gives me online access to years' worth of statements, which are, of course, printable if need be. I can access my bills online at any time, and as soon as the statement appears, I can view it instead of waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

- The bills can't get lost in the mail. Unless the Interwebs gets messed up somehow.

- I save valuable space in my condo - no need for additional accordion boxes to hold PAPER BILLS...

- The billing company saves on operating costs (no printing and mailing of these bills), theoretically saving me money as well (*wipes tears of laughter from eyes*)

- And, probably, the most important benefit: The billing company no longer is using paper to print and mail out statements. I can't even imagine how much paper these places go through...some of my statements are so full of ads and extraneous papers that they look like a thick magazine stuffed in an envelope!

Do I have future plans? Absolutely. I would love to be a 100% Paperless Bill Payer! :)

And now...off to send my sister in law her (PAPER) birthday card. Because some things just can't compare to a paper card telling someone you love them and are thinking about them. :) (even if it's going to be a week late by the time it gets there).

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