14 August 2009

Inhabitat green blog has a terrific entry for August 13 where industrial designer Lea Bogdan wrote a piece about phone books.

Not plants and gardens but there is quite a bit of cross-pollination between gardeners and those who are concerned with the environment in general.

Click on the green link above to read the entire posting - here's the upshot of Bogden's research

This is a quote from Bogdan's work.

"THE PHONE BOOK COMPANIES RESPOND
I presented these ideas along with snapshots of the abandoned phonebook clutter, to media contacts at the biggest players in the directory business. I was actually expecting deaf ears, but instead I received responses that were enlightening.

Verizon Superpages
The media relations representative from Idearc Media LLC, the company responsible for the Verizon Superpages, quickly replied with an informative and apologetic email. He said that the bottom line is it shouldnt be happening and we are working diligently to make sure it doesn't happen. If you wish to change your delivery options for the Superpages, contact your local publisher or call Idearc directly at 1-800-888-8448. Superpages recycling information is available online or on the inside cover of your directory.

Yellow Pages
Another powerhouse behind the big books is RHDonnelley, responsible for the Dex Yellow Pages, AT&T Real Yellow Pages in Illinois and Indiana, and EMBARQ Yellow Pages. I received fantastic news from Dex Brand Directories - just last month, they kicked off their Select Your Dex program, where consumers can specify the type and number of Dex Directories they receive. You can change your options online or call 1-866-60-My-Dex. Their website also provides information on recycling your old Dex directory.

AT&T
I also found out that AT&T has been pushing for strictly on-demand delivery service in many areas. They faced controversy two years ago when the state feared a raise in costs for 411 call operations and contested the proposal for residential Whitepages to be strictly on demand in Raleigh, NC. Unfortunately, organizations like The Yellow Pages Association spend millions lobbying against on-demand directory programs. Due to the powerful lobbying, proposals from state legislators to make unsolicited delivery of phone books illegal were unsuccessful in Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and Washington. You will be happy to know that earlier this year AT&T restarted the discussion for on-demand distribution in North Carolina and additionally in Missouri. Similar, successful programs already running in Texas, Georgia, and Ohio have proved that less than 2% of the population requests print directories when given the option, so we hope they are able to broaden the reach for on-demand circulation."

In our town of 40,000 there are competing phone books so they are all delivered here and most go directly into paper recycling. Now I know there is a choice to cancel them.
Big green thanks to Lea Bogdan and Inhabitat.

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