Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Seriously, enough with the phone books

Over the past few weeks I've noticed that tons and tons of phone books have been delivered to houses in the area. Many are still sitting outside the houses where they were delivered, and many more (like mine) are just sitting inside our foyer, never to be used.

I really think in this era of the internet and smartphones, phone books should be something people request, not something that just gets dumped and ends up being litter. I know some people do need them, and I am obviously more techie than some people (I run a blog after all) but I can't even think of the last time I used a phone book. Many, many years. It's a shame to see so much paper wasted and trash created for this artifact.

I tried to find a way to stop delivery, but the yellowpages.com page that is for stopping it doesn't include DC as an option. Weird.

UPDATE: I found the site where you can opt-out of the phone books. Finally.


  1. Switching to a by-request model wouldn't make business sense to the publishers of the phone book, since they make their money off sales of ads and larger, flashier listings. The rates are based off distribution, so if they deliver them to 100k houses, they make good money (regardless of the fact that most people don't want them). If they switch to an opt-in model, distribution (and therefore revenue) will plumit.

  2. My apartment building delivered all 200-some books to everyone's door. It's the only time, to my knowledge, that they've ever let a third party vendor blanket the building like that. It was eerie to see hallways suddenly populated by dozens of those cheery little yellow slabs. I almost expected them to start growing along the walls like weeds.

  3. According to certain survivalist resources on the interwebs, you can use pages from these books as toilet paper when in a pinch.

    I've also seen some green gardening sites using them as a compostible weedblock for flower beds.

  4. In '04, when I finally evolved from dial-up to broadband, I was a little sad that I'd no longer be getting my phone books. Yeah, I'd been using Switchboard.com since '96, but...I'm just old-fashioned like that. Yeah, well, before too long, I found that I was getting I think THREE sets of phone books from different advertisers. Ugh!

  5. We also got a phone book in Woodley Park. My y.o.son: "how does this thing even work? How would you find anyone's name in here?" He does know how to use a dictionary, but to him the idea of phone book is just ridiculous

  6. http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/02/01/san-francisco-moves-ban-yellow-pages

    A number of cities and states have tried to legislate a ban...

  7. Sickens me when I see these and think of the countless waste/trees ,etc that were done to produce these. They should be opt in not opt out when you sign up for a cell account or land line account


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