Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to be more eco-friendly? One of the easiest ways to go green is to do everything you can to make your life paperless. While this may seem like a Herculean endeavor, the reality is that you can make large strides toward going paperless without ever leaving your apartment. What’s not to love about that? Declutter your life and save some trees in the process by following these eco-friendly tips for going paperless:
Sign Up for Electronic Bank Statements
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a bank these days that doesn’t offer electronic monthly statements. By signing up for online banking, you’ll not only take big step toward going paperless, you’ll also make it much easier to manage your different accounts and stay organized. Once you sign up for online banking, you can also use the website to regularly check your balance, making the process of sticking to a budget that much easier.
Opt for Digital Receipts
Many retail establishments are now giving their customers the option of having their receipts mailed to them rather than printed out. Saying “yes” when a sales associate asks if you would like your receipt mailed to you is an easy way to go green. But be forewarned: Once they have your email address in the system, you may receive more promotional emails.
Pay Your Bills Online
If you pay your rent with a check each month, ask your landlord if they would be willing to allow you to make an electronic transfer instead. You may also be able to pay utility bills online. Continue your eco-friendly mission by making student loans and credit card payments via the web as well. You may even be able to set up automatic payment so you never have worry about missing a deadline again. It’s a win for the environment and for your credit score!
Swap Paperbacks for E-Books
If you’re a voracious reader, you can seriously cut down on the amount of paper you use by opting to use e-books instead. Although you’ll initially have to shell out some extra cash to buy an e-reader, e-books are generally less expensive than hard copies. Plus, you’ll have a pocket library with you wherever you go.
Shred and Recycle What You Don’t Need
Just because you’re making an effort to go paperless doesn’t mean the whole world is. To minimize the damage, be sure you shred and recycle any paper items lying around your apartment (or that are sent to you) that you no longer need. At the very least you’ll be doing Mother Nature a giant favor.
Put a Stop to Junk Mail
Speaking of unnecessary paper use, all that junk mail is more than just a nuisance–it’s the exact opposite of eco-friendly. Visit the website of the Direct Marketing Association to opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail, also known as junk mail. You can also visit www.optoutprescreen.com to put a stop to any mail you receive from consumer reporting companies. Environment: 1, Paper: 0.