Opt-Out to Receiving Phone Books

by Kevin on August 31, 2009

One of my favorite phrases to use is “just Google it”. The internet is a fascinating place and most of the time you can find the information you are seeking online.

Researching fantasy football draft orders? Google it.

Converting various units of measurement (how many square meters is 300 square feet?). Google it.

Phone number of your favorite Italian restaurant? Google it.

There is so much information online it simply baffles the mind… and that information includes phone books.

Do You Use Phone Books?

When was the last time you used a phone book? It has been at least since I was in college that I last used a phone book. In my opinion they are completely unnecessary.

Yet year after year a truck comes by our neighborhood and drops off a healthy stack at each door. (Why would one household need more than one phone book?)

How to Stop Receiving Phone Books

Thankfully there is now a slightly easier way to opt-out of receiving phone books. The Yellow Pages Association has a zip code search you can use to search for phone book providers in your area.

Once you find your list of providers (there are four in our area) you have to call them individually to get taken off of their lists.

It isn’t as easy as other opt-out programs like the Do Not Call registry where you just fill out an online form. But you can still theoretically get off of the list.

Opt-Out of Phone Books for the Environment

Opting out of receiving several stacks of phone books each year will also help the environment. The phone books we have received in the past are really thick and contain hundreds of pages of paper. And each time we get them they go straight into the trash.

By taking your self off of the list you could save thousands of pages of unnecessary waste over your life time. And I think that is something we can all get behind.

Hey readers… I’m curious. When was the last time you used a phone book? Leave a comment!

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jim August 31, 2009 at 10:44 am

Phone books are the biggest waste ever, I opted out as soon as I learned you could opt out! This is a good ecofriendly post, I hope more people opt out or, at the very least, recycle it if they don’t use it.

philip August 31, 2009 at 11:17 am

I toss em in the recycle bin. Used to I would use some coupons out of the back of the books but have pretty much given up on that.

Do they still make enough in advertisement to justify the cost of printing and distribution of these books?

In the Houston area I get about 4-5 different phone books, from city/county/ nearby cities. I lose track but it does seem like one appears about every 2 months.

Ashley August 31, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I think people should only get phone books through special request. I feel you Philip, in the DFW metroplex there is a phone book for Dallas, Fort Worth, North Dallas area, Mid-Cities, and everything in between you can think of. I too would assume they no longer make enough money from advertisements to cover printing and distribution costs.

SingleGuyMoney August 31, 2009 at 5:03 pm

I haven’t used a phone book in years. Everytime I get a new one, it goes straight into the recycle bin. I agree that it is a huge waste of money. They don’t seem to be getting any smaller even though more and more people are getting rid of their home phones.
– SIngle Guy Money

Patrick September 1, 2009 at 5:31 am

I rarely, if ever, use phone books, and I recycle them when I receive them. The problem with opting out is that many times the delivery vans just throw them onto every driveway or drop them off on every door step, regardless of who is on the delivery list or not.

Kenc September 1, 2009 at 6:32 am

Use them all the time. They can be quicker to find that truly local business then firing up the pc and Googling away online. Many have great maps, coupons and other stuff. You folks really should try them

philip September 1, 2009 at 7:15 am

Good point Patrick, I know one time I worked with a group that was paid to put the doorknob flyers out for a pizza place. After the first couple hundred we really didn’t care too much any more. We would put more than one on a door or whatever we could to get rid of them. I really doubt that someone would pay attention to make sure not to deliver one at certain households or not. If they run out early they will jsut not deliver to the others, who would notice if they didn’t get one?

CS September 1, 2009 at 8:34 am

I use them all the time. I only spend an hour or less online a day and it’s more of a pain to look up a number on computer than to actually open up a book and find a number.

MickMack September 3, 2009 at 6:11 pm

I used mine just a few days ago. I even keep a mini version in each vehicle. The maps, the yellow pages, the address listings. Much faster than the searches on the internet for our area (sometimes I know I have the right spelling, but the search still comes up as ‘no match’, whereas it is right there in the phone book waiting for me).

marci357 September 4, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Used almost daily! Usually more than once a day!!!

Soooo much faster than online – at least in our little area.
And who wants to wait 3-5 minutes for the computer to come on and be ready for a search for a phone #??? Not me. About 5 -10 seconds with the phone book.

Plus, I keep one in each rig – sure cheaper than directory assistance on a cell phone – also has addresses – also has the yellow pages by subject which often times comes in handy.

You get one for each land line in your home – supposedly.
So you don’t have to run from room to room to grab a phone #.

Kat September 5, 2009 at 9:50 am

I use a phone book occasionally. I agree that the web is also a great resource for phone numbers. Sometimes, it’s faster to use the phone book because I would need to wait for the computer to boot up or I’d need to boot a teen off. Also, it can help me discern if something is as local as I would like it to be since we just moved here a few months ago and are still not familiar with all of the surrounding towns we might shop in. Last, I like to keep one in the car. If I remember something that I didn’t prepare for, I can hopefully grab the info from the phone book. I can always call for directions.

Russell Fascenda September 13, 2009 at 2:09 pm

I rarely use white pages, but yellow pages are useful, I used one a few hours ago. Looking for a small business in a smaller town the yellow-pages is the place to look. I know there are online versions, some of which include reproductions of the printed pages, but the books are convenient. I also keep ones from a few years ago, they’re a great way to find out if a business has been around for awhile.

Opting out probably wouldn’t work for me, my rural mailbox sits next to 5 others, there are going to be a pile of books out there no matter what I do. Then at my post office box there will be a few hundred piled up down there, they just leave enough for every box on a counter-top. It’s wasteful I agree, many of those at the post office won’t be claimed. What compounds the waste is the independent phone book companies, plus these small format extra ones that have much of the same information as the big one.

Our recycling center (where we take our garbage) always has a huge dumpster each year devoted to recycling phone books, that really gives you an idea of the magnitude of the waste.

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