Aren’t we in the middle of an environmental awareness movement as, you know, a planet? Which is probably a good thing, if we’re honest with ourselves. Don’t want to proactively kill our great-great-great-great? grandchildren because they run out of oxygen or something fun like that. Some projections have the end of the environment as we know it in hundreds of years and others are saying we could be feeling the effects. I think it’s safe to assume it’s somewhere in the middle of those two estimates. So … in like a hundred-ish years? If I’m still alive in a hundred-ish years I have to assume that the technology keeping me alive is doing the same for Mother Nature.

There’s all kinds of initiatives going on. Electric cars, recycling (kind of), composting, gardening, sustainable farming, reusable grocery bags, and paperless options for mail. Among others. I would like to take a second and wonder quietly where we went wrong with recycling. Like most great ideas it has fallen quite short of what was promised. So many rules to follow, for one. Then certain areas of the country don’t collect recycling? Or they have specifications – for example, recycling must be in a blue trash bag. If it’s in a trash bag, though, can it even be recycled? If it was as easy as the garbage I think more people would participate. Another thought, don’t make me pay a monthly recycling bill, but make me take it myself to a special center anyways. Just saying.

Despite all the various options out there for people who want to be involved, the paperless options are the most exciting to me. I really don’t like getting mail. I have to go all the way to the mailbox. Get the mail. Walk back. Sort out all of the ridiculous pieces of junk mail. Open the relevant mail. Then throw away said mail after I’ve read it. Because what would I need to save it for? I can find the same information on the Internet. Thank goodness the email copy is a read and delete alternative! Doesn’t solve the junk issue, however. I guess I can’t have my cake and eat it too when it comes to paperless. 

While email versions of monthly statements, or bills, definitely come in handy, I would like people in the consumer world to answer why there are so many receipts when you buy something. One receipt is kind of acceptable so you can “keep it for your records” and “balance your checkbook”. It’s courteous, I suppose. What I’ve found recently, though, is that one is never enough. Two is not enough. Sometimes three is not enough. I mean, just what? Who needs all these copies? Where are they going? Not with me, that’s for sure!

Typically, I hold onto a receipt until I see a trash can. If I’m shopping, I never keep my receipt, and yet I get presented with my copy, and the store’s copy. If I’m at a restaurant, I never keep my receipt, and yet I get presented with my copy, the restaurant’s copy, and a third unknown copy with the same information as the other two. Sans a signature line. Occasionally, I have received four receipts and I’m not here for that. Four?! More places should give the no receipt option.

In today’s world, we have tablets, we have the Square register, we have credit card readers for smartphones, we have Venmo. What is the consumer world waiting for? All the trees to disappear? Ironically, small businesses are the ones who seem to have jumped on this train well before corporate America. Irony is the wrong word there. Appropriately, small businesses have started this trend. Much like the federal government, I don’t think corporate America could make a decision about speeding up or slowing down for a yellow light for at least a month. It’s possible that years ago the leadership teams started trying to adopt paperless and we have yet to see the fruit of that direction. Maybe in another 10 years, who knows.

My point is that I get too many receipts. And I would like it to stop. I throw them away. Quickly. And without regret because what am I going to do with it? I can see that “receipt” online any time of day because that’s how technology works. A digital checkbook where it balances, records, and reconciles everything for you. Why would I do it manually? Save the trees. Save my sanity. Just print the one receipt you need to calculate tips.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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