For 130 years, the Yellow Pages industry has worked to connect businesses with consumers who need their products and services. However, even as the world’s first true search engine, Yellow Pages products are far from antiquated. Throughout the last decade, the Yellow Pages industry has taken many steps to meet the evolving needs of consumers, including going green with its directories. Here are a few ways that the Yellow Pages are green:

More Ways to Receive Information

One of the most prominent ways that the directory industry has proven that Yellow Pages are Green is by giving consumers more ways to receive information about local businesses. For example, the Local Search Association has created a website, Yellow Pages Opt Out, which allows consumers nationwide to manage the delivery of their phone directories. Whether you want to receive one less directory per year or simply need information about recycling old directories, you can find everything you need at this website.

Eco-friendly Publishing Methods

Another way that Yellow Pages are green is through the eco-friendly production methods that directory publishers use to avoid using paper made from freshly cut trees. For example, the pulp used to make directory paper comes from recycled newspapers and residual chips, both by-products of sawmills left after logs are converted to lumber. Additionally, industry publishers use vegetable-based and environmentally friendly adhesives that do not pollute the soil or groundwater supplies.

Smallest Percentage of Pollution

According to the EPA, telephone directories make up the lowest percentage of the municipal waste stream at 0.3 percent, compared to newspapers (3.5 percent), disposable diapers (1.5 percent), and paper towels (1.4 percent).1

New Products Made from Outdated Directories

One final way that the Yellow Pages industry proves that the Yellow Pages are green is through a process known as “up-cycling.” This involves transforming outdated phone directories into useful products like cup trays, egg cartons, cereal boxes, and cellulose insulation. In addition, the production methods that manufacturers use to create these products are much less energy-intensive than using virgin fiber.

For more than a decade, the Yellow Pages industry has taken many steps to prove to consumers that Yellow Pages are green through decreasing the carbon footprint of phone directories. This initiative has ultimately made it possible for the industry to continue supporting local businesses and consumers in the most environmentally friendly ways possible.

1Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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