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The first “phone book” appeared in 1878, shortly following Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephonic transmission in 1876. Originally only one sheet of paper, today’s phone books are some of the largest printed.

Phone books are typically delivered twice each year to millions of American households and businesses. In fact, 540 million telephone directories are distributed each year. This amounts to over 106,000 miles of phone books, enough to wrap the planet 4.28 times.

With the various adjustments the phone book industry is making to be more eco-conscious, it’s still up to consumers to recycle the end product. By recycling only 500 phone books, consumers can save:

  • Between 17 and 31 trees
  • 7,000 gallons of water
  • 463 gallons of oil
  • 587 pounds of carbon emissions
  • 3.06 cubic yards of landfill space
  • 4,077 kWh of energy

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