Friday, August 20, 2010

Paper Phone Books

I once used the paper phone book many times per week.  For the past several years I rarely use the yellow pages.  I receive so many and yet none have the same listings.  Communities around the country are implementing opt out programs to reduce the waste created by unwanted phone books.  Seattle is one city working on this problem.

Katie Couric also recently commented about a program related to the white pages however business phone books would still be delivered.  The article says that Verizon estimates eliminating most white pages phone books could save 5000 tons of paper.  How much would be saved if the yellow pages were only delivered to those who request them?

From Yellow Pages Goes Green:
"Over 500 million of these directories are printed every year. That is nearly two books for every person in the country! These directories produce a staggering amount of waste, not only in terms of misused natural resources but also in filling of valuable landfill space.
To produce 500 million books:
  • 19 million trees need to be harvested
  • 1.6 billion pounds of paper are wasted
  • 7.2 million barrels of oil are misspent in their processing (not including the wasted gas used for their delivery to your doorstep)
  • 268,000 cubic yards of landfill are taken up
  • 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are squandered
The cost associated with the delivery and disposal of these books is exorbitant. Unfortunately, these unsolicited costs fall heavily on consumers. Why are we paying for something that was delivered to our homes and offices that we did not ask for?"

Sites for opting out info:
Paperless Petition
Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages Goes Green
Various phone directories

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