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Mar 172010
 

From Green Right Now Reports

AT&T said today it will have a tree planted in honor of each customer who opts in to paperless billing – up to 1 million trees in 2010. The program, which will be operated in conjunction with the Arbor Day Foundation, is open to customers of  AT&T residential home phone, AT&T U-verse TV, broadband and wireless customers nationwide.

According to PayItGreen, if a million customers switch to paperless billing, this would help to save 400,000 pounds of paper, avoid 6 million pounds of greenhouse gases, and prevent 4 million gallons of wastewater from discharging into lakes, streams, and rivers in a year. And, according to the EPA, planting 1 million trees can absorb more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide, can provide oxygen for up to 4 million people to breathe in a day and can forest more than 1,400 acres of land.

AT&T said customers can opt in to paperless billing and activate the tree planting by going online to www.att.com/paperfree and following the instructions. After enrolling, customers can choose to have a tree planted where there is the greatest need — or they can choose between regions of the U.S. that have various needs for reforestation, such as helping provide clean drinking water in California or protecting rare birds in Michigan.

“The trees planted by AT&T will help clean the air and drinking water for millions of Americans, restore habitat for wildlife and restore our nation’s forests for future generations to enjoy,” John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation, said in a statement.

AT&T also accepts wireless devices for recycling in all 2,000-plus of its retail locations. Working with customers and other channels, AT&T estimates it will collect roughly 14 million wireless devices for recycling by the end of 2011, which is the equivalent of keeping more than 920 tons of primary materials and more than 13 tons of toxic waste out of landfills.

“We encourage all of our customers to make the switch to paperless billing with us this year,” Philip Bienert, vice president of ATT.COM, said in a statement. “Whether they care about conserving natural resources, supporting reforestation, enjoying the convenience of reducing the amount of mail they receive each month – or all of these things – we’re offering them a simple way to make a difference with just a few clicks of the mouse or taps of the smartphone.”