bursting out of my wallet!I abhor receipts.  For years I’ve always had an oversized wallet, which looks impressive until you realize it’s full of receipts, not cash.  I try to be diligent about purging them.  Sometimes I take them out, stuff them in an envelope, which gets lost in my desk . . . and of course, the one receipt that I thought I needed never actually existed.  We have a shredder, so sometimes I’ll go on a shredding spree . . . and that, of course, is messy. Why are we still dealing with receipts in a paperless age?  In an age where everything is automated and encrypted, receipts seem so quaint and unnecessary.  Wouldn’t it be easier if we could store these records online, perhaps accessible by my mobile device, and if I need to return or exchange an item, I can just get my refund and move on? And to me, it’s the small stuff that we should sweat.  Little bits of plastic and other harmful materials are ending up in that horrific Pacific Garbage Patch . . . the small pieces of packaging and plastic are what bothers me, which is why I prefer to buy in bulk if I can. Receipts may be small, but here are some facts:
  • Most receipts are made from thermal paper, which is full of chemicals and cannot be recycled.
  • Receipt paper demand in the USA requires about 600,000 to 700,000 tons of paper each year.
  • Almost 10 million trees are cut down annually just to provide paper receipts.
  • One ton of paper requires 15 trees.
  • Approximately 400 gallons of oil are required to produce one ton of paper.
Do the math:  it’s disturbing. So what’s the solution?  alletronic, based in Fullerton, CA, has an idea. alletronic, led by CEO Isaac Lay, provides an add-on or "patch" to a retailer's existing Point of Sale software (what they use at checkout to ring you up).  Customers shopping at a retailer using alletronic’s service can begin receiving paperless receipts by creating a free account online or by giving their email address to the cashier.  When creating an account, customers “link” a debit or credit card (only a partial number), loyalty card, or phone number. Whenever the consumer uses a “linked” card at a retailer offering alletronic, an electronic receipt for the transaction appears in their online account immediately. For cash transactions, users may provide a linked telephone number to receive their paperless receipt. If consumers used alletronic to receive an electronic receipt for an item they need to return, they simply walk into the store with the product in hand. The cashier can quickly confirm the purchase and accept the return. alletronic’s software is now ready for market.  Click here to create an account.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.