When was the last time you used a phonebook? When I ask most people that question, they just go into a rant about how many phonebooks they get, and what a nuisance they are. Multiply that discontent by millions of people. Now, add in the costs to our forests to cut down millions of trees (loss of species habitat, murky streams not great for aquatic life), the pollution created by making all of that paper, printing the books, gas used to deliver the books, gas used to take the books away via recycling + energy used to recycle the books and/or space taken up in landfills by these books.
Wow, that's a lot of wasted energy and cost for something most of us generally don't need/want anymore. In a time when cities and states are trying to cut costs - we could probably be saving ourselves a pretty penny by not having phonebooks around to the extent they are today - I think I get about 7 of these annually. Enter HB 3477, a piece of legislation put forward by Rep. Jules Kopel-Bailey which Rep. Ben Cannon has co-sponsored. The legislation basically says:
The Legislative Assembly finds that the annual, if not more frequent, distribution of hard copies of telephone directories by multiple publishers to persons at their residences without first determining whether such persons want or will use the directories constitutes both a waste and misuse of paper and natural resources and a harm to the environment without justification. The Legislative Assembly declares that it is in the public interest to establish a prohibition on the distribution of hard copies of telephone directories unless a person specifically requests the delivery of an identified telephone directory. (2) A person may not distribute a hard copy of a telephone directory to another person at the other person¢s residence in this state unless specifically requested by the other person to do so. A request under this subsection may be made in writing or submitted using the Internet.
The next step for this legislation will be a hearing in the Rules Committee chaired by Rep. Roblan. I have also started a FB Cause to build a movement to support this legislation in Oregon and, hopefully, the rest of the country. Perhaps if we reduce the amount of phone books we won't need to keep clear-cutting our state forests?
At a time when we're all looking with concern at climate change, we might seriously consider re-thinking anything that impacts our oxygen supply - like cutting down trees. If I were governor, I'd create a moratorium on tree cutting in Oregon. I mean we want to continue living here, right?