'Paperless Receipts' Won't Save Time or Trees

receiptsI'm old school when it comes to my banking. I mean, I have -- and use -- online banking, but when it comes to balancing my checkbook, it's nothing but crinkled up receipts and a calculator for this gal. And that ain't changin'. So you can imagine my horror when the check-out girl at Urban Outfitters asked me if I wanted a "paperless receipt" a few weeks ago.

"What?" I asked her and her ironic cardigan. "Would you rather a paper receipt or do you want one emailed to you?" she strained to ask me. Clearly talking to customers wasn't in her wheelhouse. "I'll take the paper one, thanks," I said and snatched the receipt out of her hand and stuffed it into my purse as I walked out. 

A paperless receipt? What, is this, like, the year 2085?


Look, I'm all for saving the environment, really, I am. I walk virtually everywhere I go (out of necessity), I begrudgingly stuff those nasty canvas bags into another canvas bag when I go grocery shopping, and I even wash out the peanut butter jar (you know how much that sucks) so I can recycle it. But paperless receipts, apparently a new trend, is where I draw the line.

It just seems so inconvenient. Like, if I decide I want to return the thing that I bought, do I have to print out the receipt from my email, then bring that into the store? That seems really annoying. And equally, if not more, wasteful. And if I don't have to do that, and I can just show the cashier my email on my phone, what if I don't get service or Wi-Fi in their shop? Or what if my phone is on the fritz? Then what? The whole system just seems like a lot of work, and I'm going to vote that sifting through a shoebox full of receipts is easier.

I wish I was one of those super computer savvy ladies whose lives reside neatly in folders on their MacBooks -- appointments, receipts, to-do lists all at the click of a button. But I'm so not. Despite the fact that my laptop is more or less glued to my lap (and I work for a website), I still maintain my life's goings on (barely) in a ratty old planner that's busting at the seems with seven-year-old business cards.

Maybe one day in the near or not-so-near future, perhaps when I have kids, I'll become one of those ladies. But odds are against it. Not just because I tend to believe that people really don't change, but because I like the idea of being in (semi)control of my life as opposed to a computer.

Are you one of those ladies?


Image via jelene/Flickr

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