by Jimmy Marks
Tomorrow’s Earth Day – How many trees are your eStatements saving? Better yet, how much “green”?
I remember when I opened my first checking account, I was excited to get my statement in the mail. It meant I was a grown-up, finally, and I got some mail that mattered. I kept all my statements in a three-ring binder, chronologically, and I kept careful watch on my money. I didn’t have online banking for my first checking account (true story), and I didn’t get a Debit Card for months (also true…community bank and all that). My statements were my lifeline to my account. I had a checkbook with which I regularly wrote checks. I was a money guy at last.
One day, after many years of use, I simply stopped using my account. I withdrew the $92 left in it and closed it for good.
My binder was filled to overflowing with paper that no longer mattered.
Too much stuff, not enough space!
You’ve all seen those infomercials, the ones for the vacuum bags that you keep your winter clothes in during summer months. Well, flatten two hundred sheets of paper and you get…the same sized stack of paper. Suck out all the air you want, you’re not going to get it much flatter.
Paper statements, invoices, bills – they all suffer from displacement. Your paper documents will take up space in your life. That might not seem significant, but they all had to come from somewhere. A tree got knocked down, chopped, pulped, bleached, smoothed, cut, boxed, watermarked, printed on, and then shipped. To you. You’re part of that cycle.
What’s the difference? None, really…
Online documents have all the same content, they’re delivered in the same time frame, they don’t require postage or printing…you’re not losing anything but cost. CUNA recently did a story about “going green” in which they talk about the sometimes-higher costs of trying to eat organic, use alternative energy, and minimize carbon footprint with alternative appliances. The amount of money and effort that goes into gaining new users can be easily offset by the savings you’ll get bringing them to online statements instead of mailing them a big package of papers every month.
More users, more savings. Simple, right?
Our Green Check-Up page is still up and running. Go enter your numbers, see how much you’re saving and how much you COULD be saving. See how many trees your efforts are saving, too. Twitter and Facebook about it. Go nuts, it’s free.