Be a Paper Saver!

I’m a paper-saving pro at school.  I give out CD’s that have a large amout of the year’s important documents on them, I post reading assignments on my website, I have students brainstorm how to save paper.  Maybe I’ll write more about how to limit paper usage in a classroom in a later post, when I’m back in school mode.  For now, I want to talk about how to save paper at home.

Here’s a great way to save paper and time: Pay your bills online and sign up for automatic payments or deposits.  Here’s a list of what I manage to do:

  • Paperless bank statements and online banking (never get a receipt at the ATM or gas pump)
  • Automatic deposits of my paychecks
  • Automatic payments for our mortgage
  • Automatic deductions for Ed’s retirement mutual funds
  • Automatic, paperless payments for our cell phone bill
  • Automatic, paperless payments for our TV/phone/internet bill
  • Automatic, paperless payments for our electric bill
  • Automatic, paperless payments for Ed’s credit card
  • Online payments for my credit card
  • Online payments for our car and homeowners insurance
  • Online payments of town property taxes
  • File online for state and federal income taxes
  • Payment by phone for tractor payments (looking to set up online payments)

When automatic payments are available, I opt for them.  I check the balance so I know what it is, and then it just gets paid.  They’re never late, and I don’t have to worry about a deadline.  At this point, we only use credit cards for convenience, not to buy things that we cannot afford, so the automatic payments work for us because the bill gets paid in full each month.  I also opt for paperless whenever available.  Sometimes that’s not an option, but when it is it’s great to forget about the paper piling up.  Think about everything saved by going paperless:

  • Fossil fuels to send the bill to you
  • Paper for envelope, bill, and annoying inserts
  • Paper for check and envelope to return payment
  • Postage
  • Fossil fuels to send the payment
  • Frustration and clutter from paper
  • Time spent looking for bills, writing checks, finding envelopes and stamps
  • Time and fossil fuels spent shredding or time spent filing

Some people may be worried about the risk of online identity theft or about the confidentiality of their payments.  I have to say, I’ve been paying bills online now for many years and have never had a problem.  I trust the sites that I use, and I truly believe that electronic payments are the best way to simplify my life and be a steward for the environment.

Since I’m writing about saving paper… here’s a list of what else we do to save paper at home:

  • Save documents instead of printing them
  • Make lists on junk mail envelopes (groceries, to do, etc.)
  • Save old documents and print things on the back
  • Write things like recipes and directions on scrap paper instead of printing them

However, even in this day and age of going green and with my environmental zeal, I still believe that there are some things that should be done on paper for ultimate impact:

  • Thank you notes instead of emails
  • Invitations instead of e-vites
  • Love letters

I’m all for saving paper, but I love to write thank-you’s.  I think it’s because when I write them, I want people to know how much I truly appreciate their gift, invitation, or thoughfulness, and so I can express it by writing a pretty note and sending it.  Maybe I’m just old fashioned.

2 Comments

Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

2 responses to “Be a Paper Saver!

  1. Farmer's Daughter's Mother

    Being old fashioned in hand-writing thank you notes is a wonderful way to be!!! I’m so glad you’ve developed and kept this habit, which does bring joy to the giver and receiver!

  2. Farmer's Daughter's Mother

    P.S. “The Lorax” is one of my all-time favorite books, with a great message, that I’ve always enjoyed sharing with my students!

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