Friday, September 5, 2008

Yellow Pages Goes Green

So you know how a phone book always magically appears on your doorstep? Usually unannounced and unwanted. We typically recycle them when we get them but wouldn't it just be better if you NEVER got one in the first place? Then they won't use all that paper to make them and then all that time and energy wasted in distributing them to us greenies who prefer less paper???

Well a new site is going to be doing just that. They will contact the Yellow Pages people that distribute to you and they will remove you from their list.

Here is a little blurb from their site about who they are:

" 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. "

Here are some surprising facts about phone books:

*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).
Facts from

So GO! Opt out! unless you actually USE those things or rip them in half or something. Personally, my book ripping days are over; although I wasn't quite strong enough for a phone book....and you know, since I busted my hand up its hard to REALLY grip something now.

Here's the link!!


Anonymous said...

Yellow Pages are made from pulp and recycled paper. No trees are destroyed to print newspapers or Yellow Pages. 68% of US population use the Yellow Pages average 4 times per month and usage is up again this year. YPs orinted products will continue to migrate towards Internet YPs and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)example: Google & Yahoo...but until it gets to a low enough usgae level, people will not throw them away. It's a fact.

The Young Family said...

Well, I must say when Derrick is doing power shows, we go through lots of phone books! Typically everyone we know gives us their old ones! I don't think there are too many people out there though looking to get phone books, so that they can rip them in half!


Rick Zwetsch said...

What the folks over at YellowPagesGoesGreen are doing is excellent and if you're tired of receiving white and yellow phone books that you don't need and you didn't ask for - sign up ASAP! More than likely that will not get you off the list as soon as you'd like. At least not yet!

Best bet is to call each of the Yellow Pages and White Pages directory publishers direct. I wrote a post about it here:

kenc said...

Many of the stats you are quotiong are bogus. For example, the EPA, not the industry, reported that printed phone books only take up .3% of landfills. Your junk mail and newspapers take up 2 and 4%.

Just because you see it on the Internet doesn't mean it's automatically real.

SHobbs said...

Your readers would be better served by going directly to the publishers if they choose not to receive the books (check their sites or their books for a number). Most publishers won't accept third party lists for privacy reasons. And the site you mentioned knows that. Last year consumers referenced the print books over 13.4 billion times, so it's important to remember that many, many people use them. Small businesses depend on them to reach buyers, not browsers. And your data? Unproven.

Marcie said...

WOW! Who knew the posting something about the YellowPages would create such a fire storm. I never said I fully believed that stats I posted; however, if you would print some stats on what you are rebuttling that would be helpful (i.e. you have a link or a site I can reference to follow up your claim).

Keep in mind that I got these stats from a writer on You want to fight the stats please take it up with them. They are my "source" for this post.

I'm only here to give my readers options; not bash the yellow pages industry.

Kevin said...

My name is Philip Cantwell and I am the founder of Thanks to everyone for mentioning our site. We are a grassroots organization that contacts the Yellow Page Publishers with the complete list of people that request NOT to receive a telephone book. The response has been overwhelming with tens of thousands of opt out requests and we are doubling every month. We are not against the telephone book but the delivery process. If you want one – great, if not, I choose not to have one delivered. Thanks for the kind comments and please spread the word.

I always find it amazing that we are attacked because of our statistics and they never discuss the reason for our site. If people do not want a book they should be able to opt out. Not "we did not kill a tree, etc, etc". I don't want a book so don't send me one.