Your Health

Just Say No to Receipts For Your Health

How often do you go back and read them anyway?

Simple tip for quickly reducing your exposure to BPA coming at ya’. Ready for it? When you’re at a store and they say would you like a receipt, just say no or ask for an emailed one.

Unless you really need the receipt because you think you will be returning an item or because you have to show proof of what you purchased to be reimbursed from work or for taxes, chances are receipts aren’t doing you any good. If you are like me, the receipts you do get just end up cluttering your wallet or floating around in the bottom of your bag.

While that may seem harmless, receipts are actually covered in BPA (or it’s chemical cousin BPS) powder.

The thermal paper used on almost all receipts is able to be printed so quickly and dry without smudging because of that BPA. While that’s a convenient feature, it also means that every time you touch a receipt you are getting BPA on your hands. And, the skin on your hands (and everywhere really) is pretty good at absorbing chemicals like BPA, which can mess with your hormones and lead to things like obesity, infertility, and increased cancer rates. This is especially true if you just applied hand sanitizer or lotion. Those liquids that are designed to be absorbed by your skin making it much easier for chemicals to also get into your body. So, even more important, don’t put on hand sanitizer then grab a receipt.

Instead, make an effort to only get a receipt when you really need it. Opt for an emailed receipt if possible – no paper involved means you won’t be touching chemicals, plus you are saving trees, and it’s much easier to search your email for a receipt if you really need. If you work some place where you need to show receipts to be reimbursed and can’t get an emailed copy, try getting the receipt, snapping a photo right away, then tossing the receipt – it’s much harder to lose a photo than it is to lose a small piece of paper. Trust me, I’ve been there. Others also suggest storing the receipts you have to keep in a sandwich bag to keep the chemicals from rubbing off into your wallet or purse.

You can also ask stores you shop at regularly to switch to digital receipts or to a bisphenol-free paper. It is also a way for them to show their sales staff they care. Think about it, for every time you get a receipt, the sales staff is touching how many more paper receipts coated in yucky chemicals during a shift! Check our Skip the Slip for resources on how to talk to companies.

Bottom line – we live in a digital age and paper receipts are doing no one any good in terms of their health or their bank account. Say no to receipts and ask for big brands that still give receipts to every customer (ahem – CVS – cough cough or even Target) to switch to bisphenol free paper (remember BPA-free isn’t always good enough). Now get out there and enjoy some happy, receipt-free, shopping!