The Environmental Impacts of Paper – Go Green

March 10th, 2012

credit union online servicesJust about every aspect of financial affairs involves some form of a paper document. From monthly statements to contracts and agreements to paper checks, vast amounts of paper need to be manufactured, transported, and disposed of. All of this paper has a significant impact on the environment. The volume of paper produced does mean more trees need to be cut down and more waste paper in landfills. Also, more gasoline needs to be burned to transport it, and more waste water is produced during production, transportation, and disposal processes.

Many financial companies offer the option of receiving statements and bills electronically. It is even possible to make payments online. For each household, experts have predicted an estimated 6.6 pounds of paper can be saved each year by participating in electronic billing and receiving statements via the Internet.

In addition to paper saved and managing financial affairs online, there is a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. About 171 pounds of greenhouse gases can be prevented from entering the air just from one household not getting financial statements and bills via paper mail. The emissions are kept at bay because gasoline is not being consumed either. In addition, about 8.8 gallons of gasoline are saved each year by paying bills online and receiving electronic statements. Even more gas is saved because mail deliveries are not necessary.

Experts recommend that everyone switch to electronic billing and statements. In the United States, it has been estimated that if just 20% of the population did this, nearly 151,000,000 pounds of paper and over 1.8 million trees would be saved each year. This would also avoid up to 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and 100 million gallons of gas consumed. Going electronic with financial paperwork is not only convenient, but it also protects an already fragile environment.

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