It's the Environment, Stupid.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Year - New Phone Book

I happened to be walking in my neighborhood and noticed a few guys frantically running to and from a slow moving budget rental truck. They were distributing stacks upon stacks of brand, spankin' new phone books. No stoop was left behind - every single residential door was graced with updated contact information for the entire borough of Brooklyn.

Now, can you tell me when was the last time you flipped through the yellow pages to look up a phone number?

I understand this is a community service thing or paid advertising or something altruistic - but in our digital age (we'll suspend the e-waste topic for this posting) is this tower of telephone books really necessary? Even though they are made on paper that contains "up to" 40% post-consumer recycled material, what if they weren't printed at all? Or what if half as many were printed? (And a side note - they are in spanish and english - same info, two languages, one book)

I think it is time for the phone book to go or at least be reduced. Maybe they can be sent out to those who specifically request one by checking a box on their monthly (landline) phone bill; or maybe a limited number of phone books can be made available at select locations for pick up by those who want one.

However, on a positive note, at least your old volumes can be recycled...


  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04:13  

  • I'll reserve my self-imposed right to delete comments unrelated to the post...

    By Blogger Amy Marpman, at 07:35  

  • I agree Amy. It's the same situation in Australia (and around the world I imagine). It does seem like a huge waste.

    By Blogger David Jeffery, at 18:23  

  • Amy,
    I'm begining a research project on the topic of public waste and phone books. Have you come across any viable sources or statistics on the issue?
    Thanks for any help

    By Blogger Matthew, at 15:58  

  • Amy, I am for Michigan and that is happening here to. I am a student and in Youth In Government. We get to make bills and mine is about trying to make phone book makers send out a postcard that says check box here if you want a phone book. We would us less paper in the long run I think

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