Friday, March 4, 2011

Electronic Bills - what is your carbon footprint?

If you are like me, you have heard it and seen it.  I'm talking about paying bills electronically and receiving bills electronically, instead of paper bills.

My guess is most of you have already switched to paying bills electronically. I did a long time ago.  It's cheaper all around.  Right now my bank isn't able to send a payment electronically to all the companies who get our money, but they can with most of them.

As far as going paperless for statements. That's been a bit harder on me.  Most things I've done this with, but credit cards I haven't been able to yet. I tried to.  Then I forgot to pay it one month.  We have a credit card that doesn't do ebill and that's the one I forgot to pay.  I told myself I would remember the next month. Nope.  I switched back to paper bills.

I've also been receiving some statements for utilities that I either 1) have the bank automatically make a payment every month since it's always the same or 2) use ebill to get my balance via my bank.  I don't know why I haven't bothered to cancel those yet, probably because I didn't think about it.

I'm going to make an effort though!  It's just a waste.

I found this handy calculator at PayItGreen.  It calculates the resources used by receiving paper bills.  You input the number of paper bills and statements you receive each month and the number of paper payments you mail each month.  The handy calculator tells you the carbon footprint for that.

I entered a total of 6 items.  I was astonished to find that with only 6 items each month, that generates to a waste of 2 lb's of paper, 35 pounds of greenhouse gases, and 19 gallons of water.  Yikes!

You can bet I'm going to see what I can do about getting that number down as close to zero as I can. As of right now the only one I can say I'll have to continue to get is the credit card statement, I don't want to be hit with a late fine of $25 because I forgot to pay it.


  1. I pay all my bills, online ... and I get all my statements online, too. My bank doesn't have an bill payment service but all of the companies that I deal with have an online payment system. Getting notices is the trick ... I was late once because they didn't send out a notice so I started using my yahoo calender to remind myself. Each month, I get a reminder about a week before a bill is due (they typically are due on the same day each month). It really helps ... now if the company forgets to send me a notice, I get a reminder from my calender and can then go check on the bill. Thanks for sharing that calculator!! :-)

  2. Small Footprints - how sucky that your bank doesn't have a bill payment service! I use mine for everything because it's free and saves me from paying for a stamp and envelope. haha! I'm going to try and go to no bill for the credit card again and see how it works. lol. wish me luck.

  3. Another great resource; you're full of them. I pay my bills online and enjoy the savings to both me and the environment, but I'd never come across PayItGreen - thank you so much for sharing!

    Mrs Green

  4. You're welcome Rae! I hope I can continue to be be a great resource for you and others. I've been a bit MIA the last few weeks but hope to remedy that soon.