Saturday, November 22, 2008

Phone Books...Why?

When was the last time you actually used a phone book? I mean, actually picked up the big ol' yellow pages or white pages and thumbed through it to find the phone number or other information that you need? Personally, if I need the information that a phone book can provide me, I just look online. And yet most of us probably have multiple phone books delivered to our homes and businesses every year. Do you keep all of your phone books? Recycle them? Throw them away?

I found the following statistics on yellowpagesgoesgreen.org. (Click the link to see the original page.)

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?

In my mind, that seems like a huge waste for something that a lot of us don't bother using and probably never asked to be given. If you're reading this and thinking that something should be done about all these superfluous phone books (and yes, "superfluous" is my all time favorite word), you might want to opt out of receiving yours.

You can read more about the Yellow Pages Goes Green organization and you can opt out of receiving your phone books by clicking on this link: Stop delivering my phone books!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the info! I know I don't use mine very often.