Just as we’re all doing some spring cleaning, the clunky phone books appear in our yard, porch, or doorway. Who really uses these anymore? When I need a number, I look it up online or on my smartphone. The phone book companies make big bucks off these phone books whether you look at them or not. We’ll probably continue to get these books until companies stop advertising in them or people start opting out of receiving the phone book.
The Encyclopedia Britannica stopped publishing copies of the research book because of slow sales. In Ohio, the white pages are also no longer printed. However, there is a big difference between the white and yellow pages. With the yellow pages there is big money attached as sales of ads are upfront.
Phone books are nothing more than junk mail to some consumers. They want to do everything possible to stop receiving these products, and there are ways to opt out.
The site, “Yellow Pages Opt Out” allows you to stop receiving phone books. For my work zip code in Cleveland, I’m scheduled to receive four phone books. You have to register to un-subscribe.
While smartphones and the Internet make it easy to search for phone numbers, some people still like to browse the yellow pages. You can also do that online. AT&T offers the “Real Yellow Pages.” You can download the directory and virtually search page by page. It’s like you’re flipping through the phone book, but doing it online in a green way.
As with most things, there are two schools of thought on these movements to stop production of junk mail or phone books. Many jobs are supported by the phone book and junk mail. With the stop junk mail efforts, counter movements have popped up to continue production of the mail to support jobs and the Post Office.
Depending on where you fall on the issue, you can take action either way. If you still want the phone book to support jobs, then recycle the phone book when you’re done with it. Cleveland has an entire recycling program for phone books, and many other communities do too. Click here to find a recycling option in your community.