Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Day Forty-One - Just Say "No"

Don't Take ATM Receipts

I promise not to take another ATM receipt. Ever. Why would I need to, now that I do all of my banking online and obsessively check my balance daily? ATM receipts are one of the top sources of litter on the planet. According to Market Watch, if everyone in the United States would select the no-receipt option at the ATM, it would save a roll of paper more than two billion feet long, or enough to circle the equator 15 times.

As long as I'm skipping ATM receipts, I might as well skip the gas ones too. And any other place where I have an option. After all, if I do take a receipt, odds are it will sit in the bottom of my purse until it is stuffed to the point of overflowing, at which point I will empty all the receipts into the recycle bin and hope identity thieves don't rummage through my junk, find my account number and steal my $20. I don't need that kind of stress!


I go to the ATM, on average, 1.5 times per week. My bank gives out those large 3" x 5" receipts for the legally blind, so that's like getting a 22.5 square inch piece of paper each week, or approximately 30 letter sized sheets per year.

Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

To quote Nancy Regan's simplified drug campaign "Just Say No". Except this time, there's no peer pressure and you're not listening to Jerry Garcia in the back of a van.


gregra&gar said...

I love what you are doing with this blog, believe me, but this post is tantamount to procrastinating the really big, really polluting, planet heating things like cars and air conditioning. Check out how air tight houses with A/C are crammed with high concentrations of the pollutants not filtered out of the environmental air. ATM slips!?! 30 sheets of paper…
Cheryl Crowe said use one pane of tp!

Fiddling while Rome burns, a well intended tune all the same.

Heather said...

I think the point of this blog is to find the simplest, easiest ways that the *AVERAGE* suburbanite can make a difference.

30 sheets of paper per year, per person WOULD make a big difference if every average suburbanite gave it a try.

gregra&gar said...

It is considering oneself average that makes the overall impact of our efforts so ineffectually mediocre. If we want to save trees and prevent paper trash, we could look at the hypocritically ignorant forest's worth of books written on saving trees.

So when we are done scouring the house for easy things, what then?

Heather said...

Dude, why the craptastic attitude?

Isn't the point to make an effort?

ANY effort is better than no effort.

When you poo-poo everyone else's efforts, eventually you'll convince them it's not even worth making the effort - no matter how big or small. Is that what you're trying to do?

Erin, you keep rocking. I (and the eleven others) like what you're doing.

Shan said...


It's great to be open to dialoge and one of the great things about the good ol' USA is that, in spite of the current administration, we're still free to express our opinions. But your attitude implies that you must be planning on saving the planet ALL BY YOURSELF so why should the rest of us bother?

I think it is attitudes like Burbanmom that will change the world. If every person in this country adopted one small change per day for a year, can you imagine the impact?

Thank you, Burbanmom for inspiring the rest of us with ideas small enough to feel do-able.