By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

It’s taking some time, but the health care industry is slowly figuring out how to tamp down the paperwork that’s choking doctor’s offices and irritating patients across the nation. Increasingly physicians are emailing in prescriptions and we in the public are getting our rejections for medical treatment via online records. (Hey, at least we don’t have to wait for the bad news!)

Humana Inc., the health insurer based in Louisville, Kty., has taken one small step for forest-kind, with a new program under which customers can opt for email communications. For every person who chooses this eco-friendly, paperless mode of business, Humana will donate $1 to the Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees.

Humana, which provides health insurance to employers and individuals, asks clients to make the switch by clicking on the “My Profile” link at the Humana website.

Needless to say, the U.S. can use the greenery this might generate.

Recent record or near-record forest fires have claimed more than a million acres that the U.S. Forest Service says need replanting, according to a press release on the Humana/Arbor Day initiative.

Of course the need for trees is ongoing, global-warming induced forest fires, or not.

“Trees help protect waterways and soil, restore habitat for wildlife, and help preserve the Earth’s vital forests for generations to come,” said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation, in the joint release. “Humana should be commended for its commitment to the environment.”

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