Photo by Frank Hebbert
You know the saying, “let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages?” My fingers only click keyboards these days when I am searching for a telephone number. They hardly ever thumb through my countless copies of yellow, white and combination yellow/white pages. (It sounds like my skin, oily some places, dry and combination in others…)
I don’t know about you, but I am sick of receiving the yellow pages. I counted in my cabinet three different copies of some sort of yellow pages. There is local one, a white pages with a yellow pages, and then just a yellow pages. Why do I need so many when I rarely look up anything in the yellow pages? I mainly use the internet (yellowpages.com or switchboard.com). Is it antiquated dinosaur that is no longer needed?
According to the Paperless Petition.org’s Yellow Pages industry facts, who is sponsoring an opt-out program,
There are over 7,000 different titles of Yellow Pages, including competing industry-specific, ethnic-targeted, and “underlay” or neighborhood-specific titles. There are no strict rules, other than market demand, limiting the number of Yellow Pages titles to be printed in a single market. For example, this year in Southern California, it is possible that a person could have over 10 Yellow Pages directories dropped on their doorstep from 10 different publishers. It is also noteworthy that with a distribution of 540 million, there are more directories dropped than the entire population of North America. This industry practice is called “saturation distribution.”
Personally, I would like to opt in to which yellow pages I would like to receive. Although the yellow pages organization touts its environmental mission of using recycled paper in its products, I still ask the question, why do we need to have something we don’t want?
Whoever is with me in opting out of the yellow and white pages building blocks, sign the Paperless Petition.org’s petition. This petition allows you to opt out of receiving the Yellow Pages. You are given a choice if you wish to opt out from receiving the white pages as well. The petition states:
“We, the Undersigned, challenge the Yellow Pages Association (YPA) to move to a strictly on-demand system of printing directories. In other words, if we want a printed copy of the Yellow Pages, we will request one.
In the event that the YPA refuses to move to such a method, the mailing addresses of the Undersigned are securely collected to develop an Opt-Out Registry that the YPA must respect.
Please provide the following information to request that your name and address be removed from the Yellow Pages printed directory mailing list.”
This petition is available for those individuals living in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK.
Still not sure, what you want to do? Check if your local recycling center takes the yellow and white pages. In addition, the Recycle as you Shop program offered by Office Depot encourages small business owners and individuals to recycle certain paper products, which includes telephone directories, while you shop. It is a pilot program offered in certain participating Maryland Office Depots until February, 2009. As an incentive to recycle while you shop, Office Depot will give you a $10 coupon for purchases over $50. The coupon expires March 15, 2009.
So, here is my question. Do you find the yellow and white pages a nuisance or help? How often do you search for a name in the yellow pages? Please comment below so I can see how Green Talk readers feel.
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