Still Mail Bills? Study Says Go Green, Go Online

Think your family going green won’t make a difference? Wrong, says a
U.S. study released on Thursday that shows one household ditching paper
statements for Web transactions would save 24 square feet of forest a
year.

The PayItGreen Alliance said it believed this was the first detailed
study commissioned to determine the impact of one individual household
on the environment and it hoped to get across the message that every
green step counted.

The study found the average U.S. household receives about 19 bills
and statements from credit card companies and banks every month and
makes about seven payments by paper each month.

By switching to electronic bills, statements and payments, the
average American household would save 6.6 pounds of paper a year, save
0.08 trees, and not produce 171 pounds of greenhouse gases—the
equivalent of driving 169 miles.

The survey, whose results were vetted by the Environmental
Protection Agency, said it would also mean avoiding the deforestation
of 24 square feet of forest, the release of 63 gallons of wastewater
into the environment, and save 4.5 gallons of gasoline used for mailing. "Individuals who think they are only one person and can’t really
have an impact should re-evaluate their position. Even small
contributions can have a impact when aggregated," said Craig Vaream, a
member of the PayItGreen Alliance and JPMorgan Chase.

JPMorgan Chase is one of about 16 members of the alliance which is
made up of financial services companies and also includes Bank of
America and the Federal Reserve Banks.

The alliance is lead by NACHA, the non-profit electronics payment
association, that represents more than 11,000 financial institutions
who are encouraging customers to conduct more transactions online.

The group was set up in 2007 to promote the positive environmental
impact of choosing electronic payments, bills, and statements instead
of paper.

It found that Americans each year mail 26 billion bills and
statements and 9 billion payments in paper form with the related
production and transportation consuming 755 million pounds of paper, 9
million trees, and 512 million gallons of gasoline.

The survey found that if 10 percent of U.S. households, or about
11.4 million households, gave up paper bills and statements the results
would be significant.

It would save 75,469,808 pounds of paper, 905,638 trees, avoid
producing 1.96 million pounds of greenhouse gases which was the
equivalent of taking 162,861 cars off the road.

It would also preserve 6,202 acres of forest from deforestation,
avoid creating 719,800,685 gallons of wastewater which is enough to
fill 1,090 Olympic-size swimming pools, and avoid filling 3,071 garbage
trucks with waste.

 

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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