With National Arbor Day coming up in the last week of April, it’s a great time to think about how we can both reduce our consumption of trees and play a role in reforestation.

According to PayItGreen — a partnership of financial institutions and businesses that encourages people to use direct deposit, receive bills and financial statements electronically, and make e-payments — if 1 million people were to switch to paperless billing, it 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 just one year. On the flipside, the EPA asserts that planting 1 million trees can absorb more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide, provide a day’s worth of oxygen for up to 4 million people, and forest more than 1,400 acres of land.

It was statistics like these that inspired AT&T to give their customers a special reason to switch to paperless billing this year. With an eye toward reducing paper waste and preserving precious forests, the communications giant has teamed with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant a tree for each of its first million customers who sign up for paperless billing in 2010.   

Better yet, after opting in to paperless billing, AT&T customers can choose where their tree is planted among various regions of the U.S. in need of reforestation.

This joint promotion with the Arbor Day Foundation is one of many ways in which AT&T is working to support and protect the environment. The communications leader accepts wireless devices for recycling in all of its retail locations, and plans to invest up to $565 million as part of a long-term strategy to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years. The company has also begun to use alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power.

If you’re an AT&T customer who hasn’t already gone paperless, or if you’re looking for a new carrier that’s dedicated to preserving the environment, this is a great opportunity to simplify your life, celebrate Arbor Day, and have a positive impact all at once.