<a href="http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Save forests with online billing


Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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According to Jon Dee in this month's G Magazine, Australian businesses sent 4.2 billion paper items by post last year.

If a million people switched to online billing for all their payments, we'd save 39 million sheets of paper a year. And if you factor in all the pollution caused by processing the paper and transporting it all around the country, you soon see what a good thing it'd be for the environment if we could cut back that much.

Of course, our paper bills can go in the recycling bin or compost bucket, which is what I do with the bills I haven't managed to avoid yet. But it's still quite wasteful to grow a tree, turn it into paper, and truck it around the country even if it does get salvaged into something useful at the end of it.

Also, we're still chopping down native forests in order to send the wood to paper mills overseas. It's one thing to grow trees on purpose for our paper needs, but cutting down unique native forests just so someone can tell me I owe them $60 doesn't seem like a responsible thing to do.

Online billing means that you can get the information you need without all that fuss and waste. Unlike other financial documents, you don't need to store your phone bill or electricity bill for any length of time. If you need a record of how much you're spending, your bank account records will tell you everything you need to know, or you can save your email version to look at later on.

How are you getting on with the challenge? Have you looked up the websites of the businesses that bill you, or given them a call to see if they offer alternatives to paper bills?