Wednesday

20 Not So Creative Uses for Phonebooks

Haute Couture
Yesterday, I noticed a portrait photographer friend lamenting on Facebook about the irrelevance of phonebooks. Her complaint was touched off by finding a stack of them sitting outside her photography studio. She wrote: "Thank god! Cuz I needed another phonebook!" She continued: "...can we stop the phonebooks already. I would hate to be the tree that gave my life for a dang phonebook..." 

Pencil Caddy
As the ensuing comments revealed, she found many a sympathetic shoulder. In fact all of them were in agreement, that is all except mine. I wrote: "I don't know what my portrait studio would do without my phonebooks! How else would I be able to pose my clients at all different height levels, or help a standing client look more natural by putting one or two under their foot, or for propping up a host of objects. 

For Mark Jordan Photography, phonebooks are more valuable than duct tape! After wrapping them in clear packaging tape, they're the bricks which support so much of what I do around my photography studio! Thank God for the phonebooks!"

The Outhouse (at Golf Clubs?)


To this, a Facebook commenter suggested we "check out" an article written on the uses of phonebooks. Like the dutiful Facebooker I am, I did - it wasn't all that bad. Always looking for 'cutting edge' information for my blog, it occurred to me you might enjoy it as well. To wit, following are a few more, not so creative ways for managing your phonebooks: 

  • Opt Out: Go to yellowpagesgoesgreen.org and register to be taken off the distribution list for white and yellow page phone books.
  • Recycle: Less than 10% of all phone books printed are recycled, even though they can be recycled into everything from ceiling tiles to cereal boxes. Go to earth911.com to find your nearest phone book recycling center.
  • Repurpose: As they say, "One man's trash is a Green Cheapskate's treasure." Here are some creative reuses for old phone books and Yellow Pages.
  • Child Booster Seats: Cover them in fabric remnants.
  • Press Autumn Leaves/Plants: Better yet, have the kids sit on them at the same time.
  • Flip Books: Here's a fun art project!
  • Phonebook Chair
    Recycled Bag
  • Window Wipes: Perfect for cleaning windows with a simple mixture of vinegar and water.
  • Phone Book Step Aerobics: Duct tape them together to use in stair-stepping exercises.
  • Fire Starters: Perfect for the fireplace, grill or woodstove.
  • Garden Mulch: Shred 'em (a few pages at a time, Uncle George): they're great biodegradable weed blockers.
  • Origami: Recreate the Tale of 10,000 Yellow Swans with a single book of Yellow Pages!
  • Pencil/Pen Holder: Here's a nifty craft project idea.
  • Papier Mâché: It's not just for the Jr. High science fairs anymore.
  • College Dorm Bed
  • Packaging Filler: Balled up or shredded.
  • Wax Paper Substitute: Use to separate baked goods and items in the freezer.
  • Paper Dresses: Careful, or his fingers may just do the walking through your Yellow Pages.
  • Make Your Voice Heard: Sign a petition to the Yellow Pages Association insisting that they move to an "on-demand system" of distributing directories (i.e., you only get one if you ask for one).

Mark Jordan
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