Jul 16 2008

EcoView: White Pages Go Straight To The Recycling Bins. I’m Shocked. Truly Shocked.

Published by at 6:22 pm under Uncategorized

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.

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “EcoView: White Pages Go Straight To The Recycling Bins. I’m Shocked. Truly Shocked.”

  1. Maximon 18 Jul 2008 at 1:09 pm

    good article

  2. Leicesteron 21 Jul 2008 at 5:48 am

    I totally agree about the yellow pages books, WORLDWIDE, we have been gaving them for years, can’t they just do it on interactive tv or somewhat?

  3. David Druckeron 16 Aug 2008 at 9:00 am

    Isn’t it infuriating that the simplest things we can do to mitigate waste and environmental damage seem to be the hardest to implement? This reminds me of the campaign posturing in the US regarding whether or not keeping your tires properly inflated to save gas is ‘worthy’ of being in an energy policy. (It turns out that it does in fact save a significant amount — about 3% in improved mileage). I wonder, similarly, how many trees could have been saved by Telus simply doing an opt-in? Not to mention the not-insignificant PR boost for being a ‘greener’ company.

    Is the failure perhaps due to a long-term contract with a printer (and hence, jobs, etc.), not wanting to give up a source of profit via the ads in/on the book, or is it just simply incompetence? Since we end up all paying for the White (and Yellow) pages in our phone bills, it would be in all our best interest to push harder, or at least try to find someone within Telus who both listens and can make a change to the status quo.

  4. mobiliarioon 24 Jan 2010 at 6:33 am

    This is a really good discussion! It is interesting that it has spanned over a few years and is still relevant. Thanks for the viewpoints – Happy 2010!

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