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No more Yellow Pages

Recently, I came home and found a Yellow Pages book wrapped in a plastic bag on my doorstop. I thought to myself, with the Internet and mobile searches, who uses the Yellow Pages anymore? I kicked it inside and added it directly to my recycling pile.

The next morning I found my neighbors must have had the same thought, except instead of putting it in their recycling piles, they put the books directly in the trash to end up in the landfills. Grrrr!

This made me realize what a gigantic waste of paper and plastic those books are. They aren't asked for and aren't used, not once. We must stop this madness.

Thankfully, I came across a site that helps you opt-out. Yellow Pages Goes Green was founded in April 2008 by a college student who was renting a house in Liberty, Missouri, and was sick of being bombarded by phone books.

Similar to the concept of stopping junk mail, the site lets you sign up and request no more local Yellow/White Pages delivery to your home or business. An electronic feed notifies the Yellow/White Pages distributor in that area to cease and desist. (Note: It may take up to one full delivery cycle before the books stop.)

According to a representative from the site, "Some of the publishers accept the request, some have asked for the file to be reformatted, and some say they do not have to listen to the individuals." For those publishers who are uncooperative, they are "adding some teeth" to the request by working with government agencies toward making such distribution actually illegal.

Don't let the site's name mislead you, Yellow Pages Goes Green is not in any way associated with the makers of the Yellow Pages (and it should be noted that the Yellow Pages website does offer a ZIP code search to find a place to recycle the books).

Yellow Pages Goes Green is a grassroots campaign effort to tell the Yellow and White Pages producers that their products are wasteful and people resent having the books forced upon them to deal with disposal. This is the one time when free is not good.

About 500 million Yellow and White Pages phone books are produced each year, costing 19 million trees and wasting 1.6 billion pounds of paper, according to Yellow Pages Goes Green.

The site is currently close to having 100,000 sign-ups. Save a tree, or rather a forest, by adding your name to the list.

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  • Posted by tgrssn Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:45pm PST
    I sell yellow pages advertising for a living, and while I agree with you partially that they are a huge waste of paper and that the majority of people who receive them no long use them that's not the point. You are way off mark for a number of reasons and I'll explain why. 1.) You're not going to get any yellow page company to agree not to put their books on your door. They aren't distributed through a mailing list which you can opt out of. They are distributed by day laborers in unmarked trucks, in bulk, door to door with almost no oversight at all. 2.) Those yellow page books are paid for by the advertisers within them. A quarter page ad in my large directory (1.4 million copy directory) costs about 2400 dollars a year. If this ad is placed under the heading of "air conditioning contractors" they can expect to get an average of 15 leads per month from that ad.
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  • Posted by LeticiaQ Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:44pm PST
    these are some great ideas the lunch bag for a bike is a really cool gift for my father.
    Report Abuse
  • Posted by turtle-boy Sat Jan 3, 2009 6:54am PST
    I can appreciate that tgrssn would like to keep his job, however a blind person can even see what a waste the yellow pages are for people 'who do not want it'. I work at a business in a rural area and now we have three different yellow pages in our own area let alone the fringe areas. I have had over TEN (yes - TEN) yellow page books delivered to the business this year alone. I am not the biggest 'GREEN' advocate, but once again - even a blind person can see the humongous was these books bring about; waste in energy to create them, waste in trees and recycled paper to create them, waste in landfills to get rid of them, etc. What it will take is for people to quit using them and if you look up a business ONLINE, please make sure that you tell them where you found their number... make sure they realize that the yellow pages are not the answer... especially for 2400 dollars a year they could save. Sorry tgrssn, but methinks you may be looking for new work in the not so far distant future.
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