Yellow Pages Environmental Forum

How The “Truth” Can Be Skewed Any Which Way You Want

Posted in Editor Picks by Ken C on June 16, 2008
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In a recent YP Talk article titled Now We Are “Paper Fetishists”, I cover just how far some of these anti-Yellow Pages people will go. I even quoted this jem:

“…Recycling isn’t the answer. Rather, phone books, like gas-guzzling cars and cheap air fares, are so last year. Now that over two-thirds of the country has access to the internet, people are surely using their paper directories less and less. I reckon that phone books are on the way out — so let them fade away gradually, and provide small numbers for the elderly, the unconnected and the paper fetishists. The rest of us are done….”

But what really set off some people was this list I presented which followed. The print Yellow Pages:

  • Uses no additional energy all year long unlike the computer you are probably reading this on, which does use electricity continuously.
  • It requires no batteries or power or connectivity to make it work
  • It is made with recycled paper, is fully recyclable, and in the .3% of the landfill space it takes up, it does not pollute the landfill with the many toxins that all the electronic junk and batteries does.
  • It is not made with plastics which requires petroleum (at some $135.00 or more per barrel) like the computers, PDA’s, IPODs, fantastically equipped cell phones, switching equipment, cable shielding, and all the related hardware does
  • Is quicker in nearly every case I have seen to find the information you need
  • Is often more complete and accurate than many electronic products
  • Isn’t biased because of your age – with tattoos, sushi, and skateboards being some of the fastest growing headings, I doubt it is only being used by “the elderly”

Ok, we all acknowledge that the Internet will someday be the preferred source for information. But currently, it is far from perfect. And please don’t ask me to click away on my cell phone using some 2” screen to find what I need.

So next time you see comments like this in another post: “Of course, this doesn’t take the environmental costs of delivery, recycling transportation, recycling, or the 85% dumped-in-landfill costs into consideration.” be sure to ask them how their PC arrived — since I assume there was no environmental costs to produce, delivery, and landfill their machine.

It’s all in how you define the real “truth”.