Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.
When was the last time you used a phone book? I mean to actually look up a phone number, not to use it as a doorstop, a booster seat, or a strong-man demonstration device. If you’re like most computer-connected people, it’s been years. And yet the phone-directory industry continues to drop pallet-loads of the things at doorsteps across the nation—a significant and needless waste of natural, human, and economic resources, in my humble green opinion.
So I was thrilled to learn through a blog at the alt-weekly Memphis Flyer that it’s possible to unsubscribe from phone book deliveries for good. Just visit this Yellow Pages Association website, enter your ZIP code, follow the publisher link or links to opt out, and bam—you’ve received your last paper phone directory. Ahhh.
Seattle may take things a step further with new legislation: There, the Post-Intelligencer reports, a City Council just introduced a proposal create a city-run opt-out registry for phone directories. The Yellow Pages Association argues that it’s an unnecessary level of government since people can already cancel delivery through www.yellowpagesoptout.com—but environmental groups like the idea of the city imposing a “recovery fee” on phone companies to run a collection and recycling program.