I thought of a national shred day when I learned that New York City agencies teamed up with industrial shredding companies and Staples to launch the first-ever Shred Fest NYC in order to help New Yorkers protect themselves from identity theft. Although there have been many talks about a national shred fest, I’m yet to see a well publicized, organized and successful shredding event at the national level.
Similar to some other US locations, Shred Fest NYC was launched to promote a free shredding day event in New York with the intent to increase public awareness about the risks of identity theft and the importance of shredding documents that contain personal information before throwing them away. The event was meant to remind New Yorkers about the importance of document shredding as one of the most important ways to prevent identity theft, according to the city's Department of Consumer Affairs.
Many of us have too many old account statements and other personal documents containing private information that lie around in our file cabinets at home and office, possibly along with a bunch of unused or expired credit cards that need to be properly discarded. We tend to keep every document for a long time thinking that we may need them one day. Although, this may be a true statement with respect to some documents such as mortgage statements, we don’t need to keep all of our utility or cell phone statements for ever to name a few. I personally have to go through my own folders once in a while to clean them up and select the ones that I need to discard. It amazes me to notice how many documents I accumulate in between my shredding exercises. I typically receive two types of documents regularly; a) monthly bill statements such as a credit card statement or a mortgage statement and b) informational documents such as my financial account statements. Typically, I file my documents after I pay the bills in their respective folders once or twice a month, and then review the folders once a year for shredding purposes, typically during the income tax season.
As I read the story about the New York City Shred Fest and noticed my own practice to select and shred old and unneeded documents once a year, I thought it would be great to organize a National Shred Day to encourage everyone in America to shred their unneeded documents and dispose of them safely. Not only document shredding protects people from dumpster divers, but it can also help them become more paper organized and create additional space for future document storage.
There are many other things we could do to reduce paper document accumulation, which I’ll cover at a later time, but we need corporate sponsors, professional associations and government agencies to team up and launch the first-ever successful National Shred Day.
In case you were wondering, the first-ever NYC Shred Fest was held on Sunday, April 27, 2008, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at multiple locations. However, Shred Day, Shred Week and Shred Month events are organized by many organizations and in many locations multiple times per year.