All those slick receipts tracking all those purchases really do add up.
According to the Environmental Defense website, Wal-Mart has over 757,750,000 customers every month and the average receipt given to customers is 10 inches long.. Based on those figures, Wal-Mart alone uses 895 tons of receipt paper per month out of the total of approximately 200,000 tons of thermal receipt paper sold in the U.S. each year.
So at a rate of 895 tons of paper per month and 15 trees it takes on average to make a ton of paper we’re talking 13,425 trees per month. Over the course of a single year, Wal-Mart has to use 161,100 trees to provide their customers with a paper receipt.
Remember when we thought we were headed to the “paperless office” not so much in retrospect…..well now there is an emerging technological fix by a company call allEtronic to eliminate the millions of receipts printed each and every day. Basically they propose moving the whole mess out of your wallet, purse or pocket and onto the internet. And as a guy who has been making a lot of trips to the home improvement store to finish up a project that sounds pretty efficient.
The moral of this story is pretty basic – using less paper is a good thing. When you rank possible environmental actions in increasing order of environmental benefit – reduction is the best. So best of luck to the folks at allEtronic and let’s hope we can say goodbye to the paper receipt.
Adam has a passion for organizing people and fighting the corporations whose practices destroy our earth. While attending UNCA, where he graduated with a BS in Environmental Management and Policy, he began his career in activism as an intern for Dogwood Alliance. Since then, Adam has worked with several organizations to fight coal plants, protect our public water systems and build the sharing economy. In his spare time, Adam loves spending time on/in the rivers of Western NC.