Sunday, August 10, 2008

Yellow Pages

Millions of phone books hit American doorsteps unsolicited every year.
That is more than 19 MILLION TREES!
If you don't a Phone Book, join me in saying "no thanks" at


kenc said...

I'm not sure where you got your stats, but while the popular myth is that this industry is responsible for the neutering of forests, the reality is the Yellow Pages industry doesn’t knock down any trees for its paper!!! Let me repeat that – they don’t need to cut any trees for their paper supply. Currently, on average, most publishers are using about 40% recycled material (from the newspapers and magazines you are recycling curbside), and the other 60% comes from wood chips and waste products of the lumber industry.

If you take a round tree and make square or rectangular lumber from it, you get plenty of chips and other waste. Those by-products make up the other 60% of the raw material needed. Note that these waste products created in lumber milling would normally end up in landfills. Not only that, as wood chips decompose, they emit methane, a greenhouse gas closely associated with global warming.

Rick Zwetsch said...

It doesn't matter how many trees are used to make the books or what is used to make the books. The fact that the Yellow Pages publishers continue to send me and others a product made of recycled anything is immaterial.

The bigger issue is at some point in time, the publishers of Yellow Pages books decided that every household has to have theirs. Delivered on their doorstep. Several times a year. Whether they asked for it or not. I've been around the block a few times and I don't ever remember once asking any Yellow pages publisher to send me their book. Ever.

If you use the books or might use the books one day - great! Keep getting the books and use them as you please. And make sure to tell businesses you do business with - that you found in a Yellow Pages book - where you found them. Even IF THEY DON'T ASK! They need to know the very big vat of cash they're putting toward Yellow pages advertising each and every year is working. Oh yeah, better tell 'em WHICH Yellow Pages book you used as well. Remember, there are more than one and the business owner needs to know which one.

If you don't use the Yellow Pages books and think they're draining our natural resources (whether they are or not) - call the publishers of each Yellow Pages book that you don't want any longer and tell them to take your name off their list. It's a relatively easy process and even though they pretend they're happy to help you, most likely they are not. No big deal.

Of course, they'll tell you they can't do it immediately (which is a joke) but be patient and eventually you'll be off the list. Remember, they need to keep you on their list as long as possible to keep their distribution numbers up to continue to be able to charge the big ad rates!

Like some of the cigarette manufacturers are just now starting to do - the best thing the Yellow Pages publishers could do is actively inform the public how to opt-out of receiving the books on their doorstep. Yes, the universe of people with books containing their advertiser's ads would be much, much smaller. And that would have a definite adverse impact on future ad rates. Which would adversely affect the bottom line.

But guess what? Everyone continuing to receive the print books would be doing so because they want to keep receiving the books. WOW...what a concept!

These people would be saying (to the small business advertisers) YES, send me the book, send me your ads, tell me what you're doing, tell me how to contact you when I need what you're selling. The Yellow Pages is the first place, and maybe the only place, I look when deciding who to do business with in my local area. WOW...what a concept!

To all of the Yellow Pages publishers, here's my message in a bottle: it's only a matter of time before you'll be supporting opt-out or being forced to implement an opt-out program.

Forget about all the people that don't want the books. Find the people who still do want the books because they're the ones who are saying to you and your advertisers who write your paychecks -- I'M YOUR CUSTOMER...TALK TO ME.

cjp said...

I would just like to mention that there also is an alternative to the printed books. The Internet Yellow Pages. Try to save a tree, use the internet!