It's been a long time since I've paid a bill with a check, or even received a bill in the mail. Everything is done online and it feels great to ditch all that paper. Bill pay is ever more popular as an easy, secure way to pay bills online, and more companies are offering to go paperless when it comes to billing. So just what is the impact of cutting out the paper? There's an online calculator that will tell you by exactly how much you shrink your carbon footprint when you switch to online bill pay. PayItGreen offers a calculator that lets you plug in the number of bills you receive in hard copy, and the number of bills you pay with paper, and spits out your footprint. For instance, I plugged in numbers for someone receiving and paying 5 bills via paper each month. The results show:
Okay, nice. So....what next? Well, the whole purpose of PayItGreen is to get people aware of how much of an impact we can make if we switch to electronic bill payments. That's not to say we eliminate the carbon footprint of paying bills, not by a long shot. But it helps in cutting down energy, materials, and fuel used to complete the (not very fun) process. And big companies agree, taking part in the PayItGreen Alliance:
The PayItGreen Alliance is a coalition of financial services companies, led by NACHA, that is committed to educating consumers and businesses about the positive environmental impact of choosing electronic payments, bills, and statements instead of paper.
A few of the companies involved include Citi, Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, and Wells Fargo, to name just a few.
So, if you're looking at greening up one more aspect of your life, paying the bills might be a good fit.