Opt-out of the wasteful $26 billion phone directory industry
In this day and age of the internet, free Google 411 and a host of other paperless directory services, what use do the big, fat phone directories serve? I don’t know about you, but when I get those large plastic bags filled with 3lb phone books, I usually put them straight in the recycling bin. We never use them. Now a website similar to the National No-Call registry is asking you to sign up and stop receiving these archaic books.
The facts speak loud and clear; the massive amount of money and resources the phone directory industry sucks up is phenomenal. This, from YellowPagesGoesGreen.org :
- 540 million directories are printed annually in the United States.
- The average weight of each directory is 3.62 lbs.
- 1.79 directories are printed for every man, woman and child in the US.
- The phone directory industry is worth over $13 billion in the US (that figure doubles to $26 billion worldwide).
- It takes 24 trees to make 1 ton of paper.
- It takes over 19 million trees to make half a trillion directories.
- It takes 380 gallons of oil to produce that ton of paper (over 7.2 billion barrels per 500,000,000 books).
- 3 cubic yards of waste are taken up by one ton of paper (that equates to 1.6 billion lbs per 500,000,000 books).
- Over 270,000 cubic yards of landfill are taken up per 500,000,000
- 7,000 gallons of water go into the production of one ton of paper.
- 4,000 kilowatts of energy are also needed to make that ton of paper (3.2 billion KW hours/500,000,000 books).
As a frugal shopper, I deplore waste (the main image at the top of this article came from someone who spotted DOZENS of yellow pages in their apartment building's dumpster). And the idea that these millions and millions of directories are being printed so that at least 90% of us can just put them into the recycling bin, well, that just burns me up. So much money, so many resources, all for nothing.
Decades ago, there was a need for phone directories. But that industry needs to face one hard fact; it is going the way of the dinosaur. And continually producing these books is merely prolonging the inevitable, but wasting precious time and money in the process. However, if we all do something about it, maybe we can speed that process up.
Simply click on this link and you’ll be directed to the opt-out page at YellowPagesGoesGreen.org, where you can opt out of both the yellow and white pages. The website’s mission statement is both clear and admirable:
Yellowpagesgoesgreen.org is an organization working to educate consumers and promote the green movement to eliminate the unsolicited delivery of Yellow and White Pages books. This site is aimed at starting a national movement to solicit the White/Yellow Pages industry to proactively stop the delivery of books or to begin moving legislation to mandate the stoppage of this activity. This movement should be similar to the National No-Call Registry that have stopped and/or decreased the number of unwanted solicitations telephone calls to consumers.
A college student who was renting a house in Liberty, Missouri founded Yellowpagesgoesgreen.org. The number of telephone books delivered to the house was overwhelming and the work required to recycle them was daunting. When he spoke with his neighbors they all told him they just threw them away. Due to the use of technology, he felt these books were now outdated. However, he understood that some people may still want them and felt the best way to limit this tremendous waste was to mimic the National No-Call Directory. Additionally, he wanted this site to serve as a depository for information and educational issues concerning the green movement.
I put my name down this morning; and unless you have a real need for these books, like in the video below from collegehumor.com , or maybe propping up a young child at the table, so that they can reach their chicken soup, I urge you to do the same. It's time to put the phone directories out of their misery.
Note: There's a tiny bit of "colorful" language in the vid...turn down the volume if you're at work or around young ones.