Monthly challenge for October

Filed in Blog by on October 10, 2008 7 Comments
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paperless billingIf you’ve been following our series of challenges you’ll remember that in June we asked you to become aware of the recycling facilities in your area. In July we suggested you set up a recycling system in your home to ensure success. In August we asked you to look at your regular schedule to see where you could fit recycling into your lifestyle. While in September we wanted you to take action by saying no to plastic carrier bags by reusing your own shopping bags.

For October we want you to reduce your bills! We want you to say no to paper bills. There might even be a monetary incentive here as some companies offer you a reduction through paperless billing.

You can go paperless with most banks, BT and some electricity suppliers. If you have an internet connection then you can get access to your accounts 24 hours a day and pay everything online. Some companies offer better deals on internet only accounts. We have these set up for electricity and internet access.

As we highlighted in a story recently, the average person gets through 250kg of paper a year in catalogues, toilet paper, junk mail, receipts and bus tickets.

So why not check out the companies your with and see if you can switch to paperless billing?

I know it is not for everyone, some people prefer to pay cash at the Post Office or with cheques. But for those of you who already have standing orders or direct debits set up, why not take that extra step this month and say no to paper?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. Already done that for most things here. I have to keep my phone bills and business bank statements for my accounts though – so until I find a way round that those ones have to stay I’m afraid.

  2. maisie says:

    Have already done it for the ones that offer the option.

    Main ones left are the Council Tax and Wter Rates which are only annually anyway.

  3. Di Hickman says:

    unfortunately we have to have bank accounts as paper bills as we need them for our accounts. Things are done differently here in the states and we need some of those bills for the accountants. πŸ™

  4. jen cleanbin says:

    That’s too bad about the accounting Di. I’m thinking one of these days accountants will accept digital formats. I get my credit card and bank statements by email, but they all have a download pdf option. I keep them all on my computer for reference. At least if I do have to have a paper copy, I can make sure I print it myself: double sided on recycled paper.

  5. Kris says:

    I’ve always had a mixed view on this, at least for things like bank statements which I use the paper versions of in balancing the accounts. So I think someone ends up printing the useful ones – and better them than me…

    That said, there are definitely some that I have come round to the idea of doing without, minor bank accounts which don’t need to be looked at, phone bills which don’t have much relevance after the fact, probably utilities (though I’ve just switched so may want those till I’m assured that the charging is running at the right pace with the usage).

    So, a partial for me – I will get on with cancelling the ones that I don’t think are essentials.

  6. Poppy says:

    I don’t think I personally have any that I don’t need, though I am trying to get DH to speak to his cc company about the cheques they keep sending him.
    I’ve also been my posties worst nightmare recently as I’m sending back everything that I don’t want. I remember the nightmare of deads, refuseds and gone-aways. Not good when you are rushing to get out on delivery in the morning. The problem is that it seems to take forever to get the message across to the companies that you don’t actually want their gumpf.
    Worst offenders currently are a gift catalogue that I get through the post, via school and by email!! DS has tried to tell the school that I don’t want it, but they won’t take no for an answer! The other one is Butlins. We went last year (I hated it!) and now they won’t leave us alone! The fliers don’t have a return address on either πŸ™

  7. Mrs Green says:

    I understand that for accountants we still need hard copies; though perhaps this will change one day. It seems odd doesn’t it, especially as most other things are digital these days?

    Kris, I must admit, I prefer a paper bank statement to work on too. But even if this gets you thinking about reducing paper from just one more company, then that’s great! I’ve just switched banks and it took me about 2 years to pluck up the courage to do it – we’re creatures of habit aren’t we?! When we first switched to paperless billing, I felt a bit out of control, but I’ve learned to adapt my ways and there is always the option to print things off if you need that reassurance; at least you can choose to print double sided or print just one relevant page rather than the waffle and leaflets you get with things like electricity bills.

    Poppy, keep trying with the catalogues. I find a stroppy phonecall can do the trick πŸ˜‰ especially as they are legally obliged to stop sending out to you if you request it. The worst company I had to deal with was Viking Direct; it took ages to stop them, but after 3 phonecalls of varying temper I stopped them.

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