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Unused Receipts | Don’t trash them just yet, make notebooks.

Image of receipt notebook

Receipts are like trash for people. I bet most of us wouldn’t want to do anything further with them except throwing them away. Right? I mean, what’s the point of keeping them? Myself, on the other hand, need to keep them to track my spending and plan out my monthly budget.

Over time, I have accumulated so many receipts. What do I do with them? I make notebooks. I use the empty side of each sheet, pile them up, pin them together. That’s all – my receipt notebooks. They are far from looking pretty, but they now have more purposes than being a transaction evidence.

I like using receipt notebooks because they are pocket size. I can keep the notebook in my purse. I can bring it out to scribble down my ideas or draft out my new articles on the go. Or simply use it on a daily basis for any writing purposes. I love the fact that I can optimize the things that are undervalued by the majority of people. If I have to write anything down on the surface, a receipt notebook is my first priority.

Despite the fact that receipts are usually forgotten, the much sadder truth is that receipts are not recyclable. They are usually printed on thermal paper which contains BPA (Bisphenol A), a chemical used to produce a kind of plastic that is harmful to our health and environment. They shouldn’t be recycled because this chemical can cause contamination to other products that we may consume afterwards. Not including the fact that a large amount of resources – say trees, water, electricity are used to produce paper for making receipts that will eventually end up somewhere that hurts us and the ecosystem. 

Nice to know that there are businesses that care enough to implement a system that allows us to get receipts online. Scoop Marketplace – Seattle’s zero waste grocery store where I work is one of them. We allow texting or emailing the receipts to customers. We don’t have a choice for printing. Or customers can choose not to get the receipt at all. That’s the best practice. I just hope that all businesses, especially big stores, can do the same. 

While things cannot be as expected, my approach is to keep making receipt notebooks and to refuse the receipts when I don’t need. Even though I know that these notebooks, at the end, don’t change the impact they have towards the environment, I think it’s a good idea to really optimize the things that already exist and the resources that are already used. It’s better than you throw them away and purchase a new, fancy notebook just for the luxurious experience of writing.

For more about how to reuse paper, check out Reused Paper Notebook | The most boring thing that saves the planet from trash.

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