<a href="http://gmagazine.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

New challenge: online billing

Paying bills on a laptop

Credit: iStockphoto

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This month we've got a challenge that relies on you using technology to save paper, money and time: switching to online billing. I like this one because once you've set it up, it'll be a green change in your life that will be effortless to maintain.

I've already made a start on this one. For several months now I've been getting my mobile phone billed to me via email instead of in the post. It works like this: when my phone bill is due, they send me an email with the details and a link. I can either pay through their website using my credit card, set up a direct debit, or use BPay through my usual online banking.

I tend to use the BPay as I don't like companies taking money directly from my account - I'll send them the right amount, thanks very much! But the beauty of it is that I don't have to fiddle around with the mail or standing in line to pay. I just sit down at my computer after dinner and make the payment, it only takes five minutes.

You don't even have to use email - if you're more likely to use your phone, you can be notified by text message instead, and (if your bank offers it) pay using telephone banking.

For this challenge, I'm going to see how many other bills I can get switched to a paperless version, and show you how to ask for online billing if it's not available. How about you? Do the services you use often let you use new technology to avoid wasting paper?