i received an interesting email this weekend from some acquaintances who want to work on changing the yellow pages distribution system. at the moment, most residences automatically get yellow pages and white pages delivered to their homes once a year – and may even get 2 or 3 versions of the books from competing publishers. the email contained some interesting facts about how wasteful the entire process is and a link to an organization that is working on an opt-out program called Yellow Pages Goes Green. some quick facts from their site:
Over 500 million of these directories are printed every year. That is nearly two books for every person in the country!
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
when you sign up for Yellow Pages Goes Green, they send a cease and desist to the yellow pages publishers. amazingly, they have less than 100,000 sign ups:/ its a great idea and i just signed up.
i know a lot of people do not have decent internet access in this country, but i assume that a significant % of the population (maybe even a majority) no longer use their yellow pages for anything. do we really need automatic delivery of yellow pages to every house in the US once or twice a year? its amazing that we allow this kind of waste to continue. and although the opt-out method is a good start, i think out-in would be even better.