A startup called TransactionTree recently popped up, proposing a service for retailers that allows them to email an electronic copy of a receipt to customers. Essentially you give the sales associate an email address at the end of the transaction. Part of me is intrigued and part of me foresees an inbox that looks like my pre-shredded receipt bag. (And part of me is chuckling at their "NoMo Paper Electronic Receipt Management Website.") TransactionTree isn't alone. An outfit called allEtronic is offering a similar service where consumers enroll for the service through a website.
There have to be more companies working on this, and chain stores that are testing ideas. If you spot a solution that works for businesses--and allows them to comply with paper trail regulations--definitely post a comment. Until we have more options, my cheap shredder will keep humming.