Paper Cut(ting)

Yesterday we received another phone book on our doorstep.  That made seven since we moved into our house a half year ago.  I decided that I’ve had quite enough.  I believe we may have used the phone book all of once since we moved in, and even then we probably could have looked up the phone number we needed on the internet.

Collect all the mail you receive for one week that you normally throw out or recycle and you will notice the absolutely staggering amount of paper that comes into your household each week.

I visited the site YellowPages GoesGreen to opt out of receiving any more phone books.  I had to fill out a quick simple form to opt-out, and the organization forwarded my request to all the yellow pages (and white pages) publishers that were in my local area.  While I was there I checked out some of the statistics about just how much paper waste phone books can create.  There are 540 MILLION phone books printed in the United States each year.  The site estimated that according to the US 2007 estimated population, that was 1.79 books for every man, womand and even child in the US.  (Because everyone in the household need their own personal phonebook, even the kids who can’t read yet, right?)

If you want to manage or cut down the catalogs you receive or eliminate junk mail consider visiting http://www.catalogchoice.org and http://donotmail.org/ and for those pesky credit offers that seem to come daily you can call 1-888-5-OPTOUT  (See the FTC site for more information)

Want a few other ways to cut down on paper consumption:

1.   Choose only recycled paper products as much as possible.  Most paper items, from packaging envelopes, to boxes, cards, enveloped and even office and art paper can be found in recycled form.

2. Always carry your own bag for purchases. Keep it in the car, and take it EVERYWHERE.

3.  Go ahead reuse that gift bag again.  Keep the ones you recieve and pass them on. It’s not being cheap, it’s being smart.  Better yet, package gifts in useful containers such as clay pots, baskets or even….recycled organization boxes.

4.  Cancel that magazine subscription (but still read the magazine)  Did you know you can subscribe to thousands of magazines online?  Barnes and Noble offers digital subscriptions and the ability to purchase digital back issues.  Granted you may want to still keep a paper subscription to magazines you love to turn into cherished, dog-eared editions you refer to again and again, but for the ones you know you won’t read more than once why not check them out online?

5.   Visit http://www.environmentalpaper.org or take the Pledge to avoid wasting paper at Shrink:
Click here to pledge to consume less paper!

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3 Responses

  1. We never use our phone book either, so thank you for the link! I hear you on the junk mail, etc. My son also brings lots of notes home from school and I toss all those into a scrap paper file. I try to get another use out of it before tossing it out. I use lots of it while stamping. I’ve also re-used magazines that way too. Just flip to a clean page after you’ve stamped, painted or whatever on it.

  2. What an awesome post, Valerie! I visited all the sites you suggested and opted out in every way possible. I also signed all the petitions. So much valuable information, especially since I have been working to develop my own recycled paper products, using my junk mail, in my etsy shop- teamzvoniktoo. I have recently been thinking of getting more aggressive with my ideas and your post has really given me some powerful tools and ideas. I am going to help spread this information through my shop. Thank you!!

  3. Posts like this make a difference! You rock! While the counties continuously offer Phone Book Recycling…it’s true, we don’t need all these phone books!

    Thanks for posting all the links and for your wonderful blog! Going to go twitter it right now!

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