Still Getting a Yellow Phone Book? Opt Out or Upcycle

This is the age of the internet…. so why are we still getting these big old phone books delivered? Hey, Yellow Pages: Stop killing trees and move to an opt in system where only those who want the phone book for the purposes such as cockroach killing, weight lifting and whatnot may subscribe.

In Canada, 23 million Yellow Pages phone books get delivered to homes and businesses across the country every year. Half a billion phone books are printed in the US (that’s more than two for every person!) This requires 650, 000 tons of paper which takes 44.2 billion liters of water to produce and releases a staggering, 1,474,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalents into the atmosphere. This is enormously wasteful and all these resources (plus the carbon footprint of delivery) go to creating a product nobody wants. All of the information found in the Yellow Pages phone book is available online.

The Product Stewardship Institute estimates that governments spend about $54 million a year to to send unwanted phone books to the landfill and another $9 million to recycle them. Some US states like San Francisco insist that users must opt to receive a phone book.

While critics complain about the waste, the Yellow Pages company claims that 58% of recipients still use their phone books. If you don’t use your Yellow Pages phone book, please opt out here.

Upcycled Phone Book Ideas

Fun ideas for recycling phone books you already have include:

  • Use them as a booster seat for young children
  • Make your own DIY kitty litter. Get instructions here
  • Use phone book pages to clean windows with instead of newspapers. Mix vinegar and water in equal parts to get a perfect clean
  • Get crafty: Use the pages to build a pinata or make a paper mache creation

Here are some pictures for projects that you could use your phone books for…


Christmas Tree




phone book wreath

picture Frame

Have you got ideas for upcycling or recycling projects which use phone books? Leave us a comment and we’ll add them to the list!

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Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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One thought on “Still Getting a Yellow Phone Book? Opt Out or Upcycle

  1. Rob Campbell

    Canpages and Yellow Pages phone book is such a dead end business model .. the yellow book has NO practical value anymore and each year an army of trucks and people carpet bomb cities with these heavy pieces of junk. This out dated business model is not cute or quaint but harmful as it makes a lot of garbage. This free book that costs our society .

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