The Internet gives us many opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint by using technology to replace not-so-eco-friendly things we do. The Internet not only can help you to streamline your life, but it can reduce clutter and eliminate some of the piles of stuff we are accumulating.
From junk mail to precious photos you can reduce waste in cyberspace! Let’s look at a few examples:
Your Mail: The clutter on your desk.
There was a time when we loved to run to the mailbox and see letters and packages. Now we get excited when our email pops up or we hear “You’ve got mail.” Reducing your “snail mail” by using your email contact as often as possible accomplishes a couple things:
- Quicker response time
- No paper accumulation
- Junk mail easily disposed of
Here are two of the easiest ways to reduce your “snail mail” paper clutter and keep it out of the landfill:
Pay bills Online to reduce paper waste
Are you receiving your bills in the mail? What happens when you open them? Most of us just want to see the amount and we pay the bill online anyway. How about getting your bills delivered to your email inbox? Many utility companies and credit card companies have the option of paperless billing. You will get an email reminder each month that your bill is due and a link to the site to pay your bill. The landfills don’t need your bills to fill them up.
Banking online and get electronic statements
Sign up for electronic statements. This works best for two reasons. One, you avoid having to shred statements each month; and two, you can store them on your hard drive, USB drive, or back them up online for security reasons. You eliminate the paper clutter and you avoid the dangers of identity theft from someone sifting through your garbage.
Put your photos in a digital scrapbook.
Then there’s that other clutter: the pile of pictures you should have sorted, framed, put in albums, or sent out. Using a film camera produces more paper waste than digital. Taking a roll of film to be developed often means receiving pictures you don’t want—wasting money money and paper. That problem is gone with digital cameras and online print shops.
Digital cameras also make it easier to view, store, and share your pictures. Sharing pictures is more eco-friendly when you don’t need double prints. Email images directly from your computer, or sign up for a free photo storing site that allows you to send your pictures online. Now not only can you choose to print the pictures that you want; but your friends and relatives will only be printing the photos that they want. It’s a win-win for your wallet and the environment
Computers have helped us all do a lot of things more efficiently. Use cyberspace to better handle your paperwork and to stop the flow of paper into your house. You’ll save time, money, and cut down on that pile of wasted resources you have on your desk right now when you choose to use your computer wisely.