The change in lifestyle required to bring society to a more sustainable state for the environment often feels like an overwhelming task, but in fact, small adjustments and simple acts of awareness can collectively contribute to vast changes and improvements. Some of these small, easy changes can be applied to how we conduct banking tasks and transactions.
How often do people go to a bank machine, withdraw a few $20 bills, and then select to view their account balance? They view their paper statement and then toss it in the garbage. This action occurs daily by millions of people resulting in a massive waste of paper and energy.
The next time you are withdrawing or depositing a modest sum of funds with a bank machine. Select the option to NOT RECEIVE a paper statement. If you are curious to know your bank balance, simply wait until you have access to the internet and view your balance online.
It is wise to produce a paper receipt as a record if you are doing a transaction involving a large sum of funds. But be mindful when choosing to print a receipt – is it really necessary? Save the energy, save the paper. And if you print a receipt, hold onto it until you can insure that it will be disposed of properly in a recycling container.
Some other green banking tips:
*opt-in to internet banking services – you can often save money doing banking online…you will save gas and time doing banking from home or work…some banking institutions offer special account packages that have reduced fees for those who utilize online banking
*see if your bank offers statements via email notification versus by mail…cut down on unnecessary paper statements…if you need to produce paper statements for records, consider using the blank side of other unneeded statements and other materials you receive in the mail to print your records on – cut your paper usage dramatically and become creative in reusing paper
*request paperless statements from other billing sources like credit cards, utility agencies, cell phone providers, and department stores
*shred your paper statements well once they are no longer of use and then recycle properly
*consider who you do your banking with…support institutions that engage in genuine practices of sustainability and contribute to local and global causes
Consider the chain of events required to produce and ship a single bank statement. Through a collective effort of everyone cutting down on unnecessary bank statements, basic changes to how you do your banking can generate profound benefits for the environment and the economy.