Help cut down on paper and energy use by opting out of home or business phone book delivery, and do all your searching online instead. In fact, according to a recent Harris Interactive survey, the majority of American adults have already stopped using paper phone books and don't actually want them. Unfortunately, according to Harris, it's also true that the majority don't recycle phone books they receive, and about 70% of states still require them to be published.
Request that your name be taken off phone book distribution lists at www.YellowPagesGoesGreen.org. However, according to a recent commenter on The Daily Green, who claims to work for the Yellow Pages Association, some publishers do not honor third-party requests for privacy reasons. So you may also want to contact your local phone book provider, as well as register at the industry site www.yellowpagesoptout.com.
You can also add your name to the Ban the Phone Book petition, a project of the WhitePages digital publisher. Some 50,000 signatures have recently been collected, along with a survey showing that 81% of people are willing to embrace opt-in programs, in which people only receive a phone book if requested. The site reports that less than 20 percent of people recycle their phone books.
As was recently reported in TDG, more than 500 million phone directories are printed and distributed every year in the U.S., requiring 1.6 billion pounds of paper, 3.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, and 7.2 million barrels of oil (not including fuel used for local deliveries). Although publishers have been making strides to use recycled paper, which definitely helps, the industry still has a sizable footprint.
If you have already received phone books you don't want, check out our 17 creative and handy uses for them. Once you have exhausted those uses, recycle them! Any recycler that accepts "mixed paper" should be able to process them.
Opt out today.
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