Receipts: I before E except after Sea



So far my biggest enemy in my quest for zero-waste.

Here is how receipts line up with the 7 R’s of zero-waste:

1. Refuse: refuse receipts when possible. Many stores are able to email receipts or opt out of the customer copy. Ask before they swipe your card!! It is so important to be proactive in this regard!

2. Reduce: I interpret this step to mean “buy less” which will inadvertently reduce the number of receipts produced in general. Some receipts are printed automatically when paying with a credit card, so try to have cash on you when making smaller purchases. I would also suggest that playing a more active role in your purchasing process would help reduce receipts. What I mean by that is to cut down on how often you order things online (obviously almost every part of online shopping is producing waste in one way or another). If you do need to order something online then play an active role and take preventative steps to lessen packaging and waste in the process.

3. Reuse: how can you reuse a receipt? Lots of ways! Some people write their to do lists on them or use them as bookmarks. I personally, am not a fan of thermal printed receipts and try to limit the number of times I have to touch them… My favorite way to reuse receipts is to shred them along with any pieces of junk mail I’ve acquired and turn them into recycled paper! You’d be surprised how simple the process is! I’ll write a separate post outlining my process later on!

4. Recycle: Some municipalities accept receipts in their recycling programs. Most however, do not. If you’re curious whether or not your city accepts receipts visit for more information.

5.Rehome: Let’s be honest… this doesn’t apply here even if I tried. Unless you know someone who collects receipts as a hobby, I’m just not sure rehoming is your best option.

6. Replant: How cool would it be if receipts were printed on biodegradable paper infused with wildflower seeds? So cool. Let me know if you find this, in the meantime: refuse a receipt before its printed.

7. Rot: Do not compost paper receipts unless you are 100% sure that the ink is plant-based (this is true for all paper!)! How can you be sure? Ask! If they don’t use plant-based ink then at least now they are aware that it is an option! So much of our behavior is a direct result of our awareness and understanding of our actions. Never hesitate to let someone or people know that things can be done differently, even if it’s not the adopted norm.




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