Jul 16 2008
Here’s an organization that just doesn’t seem to be listening to the growing consumer demand for environmental sustainability, much less the economic laws of supply and demand. The Telus White Pages came out in Vancouver this week. Quite predictably, most copies seem to have gone straight to the recycling bin (Metro). Seems there’s this newfangled World Wide Interweb that most folks are using to get the directory information they need (Close to 70 per cent of Canadians were, as of March 2007, anyway — Internet World Stats).
The White Pages are printed on recycled paper, from what I understand. That’s great. But the amount of energy and recycled resources that might have been used to make something that someone would actually want (I don’t know… school textbooks? Consumer magazines? Porn?) seems to qualify this annual event as a bad move from an ecological perspective.
In at least one BC community, these products seem to literally go straight from the publishers to the recycling depot (thanks, James Glave).
As in my previous call to action (The Yellow Pages Must Be Stopped), I’m calling for an opt-in requirement for anyone who still wants these bulky directories brought to their door. Put the onus on the publishers to actually contact the end users (by email or a single-page mail-out) to get people to sign up to receive the books.
Again, that’s opt-in, not opt-out. Most email and print newsletters use this kind of procedure and it seems to work well. Those who don’t want the stuff don’t get it, and the publishers don’t have to waste money, resources and energy producing products that go straight into a blue box.