Technology Reducing our Trash Heaps

Developments in technology have already seen a number of items disappear from our homes, to be replaced by electronic versions that take up no space. CDs, vinyl records and even cassette tapes once were frequently bought, and later discarded when no longer wanted, as were VHS and Betamax tapes and even (though to a lesser degree) DVDs. Instead they have been replaced with MP3s and digital movies that can be paid for online and downloaded instantly, ready for use without ever having to leave the house.

Maps too have been superseded by the digital format. Previously, in order to travel to somewhere new you would have to buy a map book or atlas. These would be updated every year, and as a consequence you would need to buy a new one. Sat Navs are in the process of replacing paper maps for many people. Instead of having to buy a new paper map you can simply update the maps that are stored on your Sat Nav device, be it a stand alone device or a smartphone.

The latest victim of technology is the paper shopping receipt. This item is likely to be rather more welcomed in its demise than other items were given that receipts are issued almost every time you purchase an item. They are also given as proof of payment for services rendered, and down payments made. In this way they are very necessary both to prove that an item was legally gained, and should be kept just in case something goes wrong with the item, and in case a refund is needed.

However paper receipts are messy to keep. They clutter up wallets and drawers and are not easy to file in any kind of sensible way. For electronic goods that may be under warranty for several years, it can be hard to keep track of them. Paperless receipts are a new option that is only just beginning to be offered by some retailers in some cities.

What will you need in order to receive a paperless receipt? There are currently two options that will let you take advantage of this incredibly useful and waste free choice. Firstly, you may pay with a cell phone that is set up as a mobile electronic wallet. These phones have a special chip embedded in them that allows them to be recognized, similar to the chip in a credit card. Payment is rendered and the receipt issued to an email account automatically.

Alternatively some companies are offering to send you your receipt electronically, via email. It doesn’t need a special phone but will require for you to give your email address to the store who you are shopping with.

Electronic receipts will be easy to store, taking up no room in your wallet. They can be filed in email folders and kept almost indefinitely, till such a time as you need to print them or use them again. They will be there if you need them for tax purposes, or to prove a charitable donation and searching for the correct receipt will be easier than ever.

Leave a Reply