“Get Your Green On” article for Openline February 9, 2011

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In a few months we will experience the ritual of the annual telephone book distribution. Although only 0.3% of the waste stream, some of us do find more than one directory by our door. They start to add up in weight and space.  Before recycling, garbage anthropologists reported that they found layers of telephone books in the landfills each spring. If you find you get most of your contact information from the Internet and no longer use an actual telephone book, there is now a way to opt out of the distribution.  Go to http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com.  After submitting your zip code, directories that are available in your area are displayed. You will need to register with the site in order to opt out of the directory delivery program.

If you still like to use the paper version, no problem. The telephone books are made from recycled newspaper and leftover wood chips that used to be burned or landfilled. Non-toxic ink, dyes and adhesives are used. When you are finished with an old directory, put it into your recycling bin. There are a variety of products made from recycled telephone books including coffee cup trays, egg cartons, cereal boxes and cellulose insulation. Now you can make the choice of having your fingers do the walking online or in a book.

Contact: Christine Wied, cwied@ci.ventura.ca.us

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