I was having a conversation with co-workers yesterday on the gradual disappearance of checks. For most people, whipping out a credit/debit card is easier and faster. Personally I don’t think I’ve written a check in almost 2 years because I use ING and they’ll first attempt to send the transaction electronically -then- they’ll mail a check for me. Gotta love ING.
There are a couple different things I’ve done over the last few years to prevent so much paper waste from my personal finance sundries. Here are a few ideas:
Ways to Green up your Finances
- Switch to a bank that promotes electronic transactions over paper ones, like ING Direct.
- Opt out of receiving paper statements. If your financial institution provides pdf copies, save those to your computer instead.
- Consider a bio-degradable credit card. In December of 2008, Discover launched a bio-degradable credit card that breaks down when exposed to microorganisms, but was hearty enough to stand up to your wallet. The article goes on to say
“there were nearly 1.5 billion credit cards in use in the U.S. A stack of all those credit cards would reach more than 70 miles into space — and be almost as tall as 13 Mount Everests. If this number of credit cards were thrown away every three years, the stack of credit cards would reach almost 43 Everests high after a decade.”
- Or consider a green credit card that promotes reducing your carbon foot-print and funds renewable energy. Alternatively you could select one that donates to certain charity funds.
- If you must send checks, buy checks made from recycled paper with eco-friendly inks. If your financial institution doesn’t offer either, I’d definitely ask them why.
- Get rid of the check register and track your finances with a digital finance tool such as Mint.com. Not only is it easier, but you can receive bill reminders and view reports of your spending and saving habits.
- Invest in Green stocks as noted by Mint.com and Treehugger.
- Get direct deposit for your paycheck -and- your tax refund. Not only do you get the money faster, but you’re not wasting paper each week.
What other ways can you think of to green our personal finance?
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