What if you could send and receive correspondence without using a single piece of paper? And, no I’m not talking about just email; I mean everything – from bills to advertisements, to birthday cards. Well, I discovered an awesome new service the other day and I’m happy to say that now you can. The service is called Zumbox and it is like a snail mail/email hybrid that is (in my opinion) genius.
According to Zumbox, it is the first all-digital online alternative to the traditional paper postal service, and as long as you have a street address, you can start using it. Every US street address can create an online mailbox with Zumbox. Businesses, restaurants, banks, non-profits, even your grandmother – anyone who sends you mail through the postal service can sign up with Zumbox and send that mail electronically instead.
At first glance, I was wondering exactly what mail I will be saving with this service. I pretty much receive all my bills online and pay them online too. The problem is that only 3-5% of people in the US actually do that according to Zumbox. In addition, many businesses have a hard time going totally paperless because it is difficult to securely send information to an email addresses. However, with Zumbox, your mailing address is the address to where digital mail is securely sent, opening the door to send virtually anything, well virtually.
To get started, just put in your name and address at Zumbox.com. The company will mail you a Security Code to your home address via the U.S. Postal Service (yes, through snail mail – but that’s just to get your account set up). It takes 3-4 days to receive your code. When you receive the code in the mail, you return to Zumbox.com and type-in your Security Code to register your address for a Zumbox account. Then, you will be ready to send and receive your Confidential Mail through Zumbox. Any person or company who uses this service can send you electronic mail instead of traditional mail. As an added bonus, this service is even more secure than your average mailbox. And, you can get your mail anywhere – from work, on the road, even on vacation.
So for this system to work and for us to see the environmental benefits, a large percentage of the population would need to be using it. That’s why I’m spreading the word. We need lots of people to sign up for this service. Currently, about 700 million pieces of paper mail are delivered daily in the U.S. – that includes letters, cards, advertisements, and bills. Wow, that’s a lot of paper!
Zumbox projects that if all U.S. households received and paid their bills electronically, the country would save 16.5 million trees annually. That’s the amount of lumber needed for 216,054 single-family homes. Not to mention all the emissions spared from mail trucks as well.
Be one of the early adopters and tell your friends and family about it too. It’s free, it’s easy, it’s secure, and it’s green. How cool is that?
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