Now that I’m working more with cash directly, I’ve gotten to see firsthand how a lot of the process works of dealing with large sums of money. The other day when I was strapping twenty dollar bills, I realized that I was using a currency strap, handing it to the vault teller, she was ripping it off, counting it, and re-strapping it with a whole new strap. Now the audit policy states that when I strap money I have to stamp it so she knows it came from me, so it’s not like I can just not stamp it and give it to her. I’d get in trouble for that and I’m not all about getting fired right now.
I started brainstorming ways to cut back on our waste on the teller line and that led to the conclusion that paying with plastic (like a credit card, debit card, or check card) is more environmentally friendly than paying with cash.
Here’s how I came to that decision: (Sorry Dave Ramsey!)
- Cash has to be made from paper, which is killing trees.
- Cash comes from the federal reserve strapped with currency straps and packaged in cold sealed plastic bags. It takes resources to make both of those, plus plastic is bad!
- Cash has to be shipped via armored trucks. Those use gas, plus emit many carbon dioxide emissions.
- Coins come wrapped in plastic wrap from the federal reserve. (More bad plastic!)
- Tellers have to strap, unstrap, and re-strap money, which produces more waste and more paper being consumed.
- The old bills have to be destroyed when they are worn out which means more resources consumed to do so, plus then new bills need to be manufactured.
When you have a credit or debit card, there is normally just one card made for a few years, it’s mailed to your house, and you use it over and over. Save the environment; use your debit card.
Do you agree plastic is more environmentally friendly when it comes to money?