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Green challenges

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

Why not pay your bills online too, while you're at it?


Credit: iStockphoto

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Now that you've got your bills coming in via email or SMS instead of by mail, you've got another opportunity to save time and money by paying online as well. Some of you are probably doing this already before realising that it's good for the environment as well as convenient for you.

It used to be that you had to pay bills in person, at the business. I remember lining up at the Post Office with my mum to pay gas and electricity bills many years ago. It meant spending money on petrol and time out of her busy day just to get it done. The alternative was fiddling around with envelopes and cheques, with the very slight worry that the payment might not make it to it's destination.

We didn't worry about the pollution from cars back then, but when you realise how many people were doing the same thing every week, it must have really added up. It also meant more paper in the form of receipts and record-keeping by the business or Post Office, instead of digital records.

Nowadays you can pay nearly anything by telephone or online banking. It's all secure, although you can always call your bank if you want to find out more about what they do to protect us from any fraudulent transactions.

The way I like to do it is to sit down after dinner with my laptop and a glass of wine. I check through my email for anything that needs to be paid, then sort them all out with my bank's website payment method. A lot of the places that bill me offer a payment service through their own website, but then I'd have to visit lots of websites instead of just one. I'm not allowed a second glass of wine until they're all done, just in case I get fat fingers and pay more than businesses are asking for!