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Yellow Pages, not so green.

Yellow Pages, not so green.

If you're like me, you have a huge pile of phone books sitting on a bookshelf because you don't know what to do with them.

Phone books are traditionally unrecyclable, but I get several a year, between few full-sized ones and then little phone book supplements periodically.  I rarely even use plain old Yellow Pages anymore, because if I need to look a business up, I just Google!  So, on a bookshelf, I accumulated many phone books which served no purpose aside from catching dust.

According to YellowPagesGoesGreen.Org, the environmental impact of phone books is startling.   Over 500 million phone books are printed every year, and to make these 500 million phone 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

WOW.  That is horrifying.

However, there are now two ways to deal with this problem:

1)  First, you can now opt out of receiving phone books. allows you to sign up to stop getting phone books. was started to stop the unsolicited delivery of Yellow Pages.  If you want a phone book, you can call and request one, instead of receiving ones that you never even asked for.  What a great idea!

2)  Second, you actually CAN recycle these books.  Sadly, you can't just toss them in the recycling bin along with other junk mail, but if you put your zip code into's  Recycle Your Phone Books page, it will bring up locations of where you can recycle your book.  This is through Keep America Beautiful.