We all have them. Some older than others. Some are years old. Why can't we get rid of them? Nowadays most cell phones can do exactly what these can and more, but still, we keep them. And without fail, a new one is left on our doorstep every year as if Ol' St. Nick has a side job during his off time. I'm talking about the ever present phone book!
Phone books have been around for over 130 years and in that time have blossomed from a single page directory with just 50 businesses listed to a book with countless phones numbers and business ads stuffed inside. The majority of the time, they end up in a dusty stack on the floor underneath a side table near your house phone...if you still have a house phone. A lot of people are opting out of receiving phone books in the future, but what do you do with the ones you still have?
One eco-friendly option is to recycle them. But I wouldn't just throw them in with the rest of your paper recyclables. Because of certain elements in the binding they must be sent to designated phone book recycling centers, just do a quick google search and you can easily find one near you. Another option is to reuse them. Phone books can be easily implemented into a variety of craft projects. Just type "phone book" in the search line on Pinterest's home page and BOOM...a myriad of arts and craft ideas to get your creative juices flowing! If you are feeling really ambitious, you could turn those old phone books into something really useful, like a shed!
That's what a group of students, led by architect Richard Kroeker, from the Dalhousie University Department of Architecture in Nova Scotia did. They gathered 7000 old, outdated phone books from across their campus and used them to create the walls of the structure, which also act as insulation. They then took some of the phone books and laminated them, which made them strong enough to use as support beams in the roof. Once stacked together in the walls, the books became so dense, the students were able to hammer a nail directly into the binding to create the basket-weave design you see on the outside.
The experimental building is not only a great example of reduce/reuse/recycle, but it acts as a kind of time capsule. Keeping a record of the names and numbers of the students who attended the school at the time.
So, whether or not you still use phone books, just keep in mind that there are many options out there for you to de-clutter and rid your home of those old, outdated directories.