Obviously with an ulterior motive in hand (but I don’t mind that), web directory 192.com urges us to abandon the traditional phone book and move online.
I won’t bore you with the details but in the UK legally every household has to receive a phone book free of charge. With more than one phone book being in circulation, households receive an average of 3 per year, and the 3 outdated ones add up to 750,000 tonnes of waste in the UK alone.
192.com have launched http://www.saynotophonebooks.com/ and even a Facebook group in order to encourage you to sign an e-petition to get the rules changed to an opt-in system for physical phone books.
Some more environmental facts about the phone books in the UK: Laid end to end they would stretch over half way around the world (22,500km); 680,000 barrels of oil wasted in phone book production (not including the wasted petrol used for their delivery to your doorstep); 2 billion litres of water is used in the production process (not to mention the amount of water wasted in the recycling process); and 437 million kilowatts of energy used in the production process.
Of course using a computer is sometimes easier than a phone book, it’s usually more comprehensive and up-to-date and with online mapping and directions often makes it easier too. However if the computer isn’t on, I still like to grab the nearest phone book. However, which one, as we currently have six! How many do you have? And do they allow you to recycle them in your area?