Let’s be frank. The phone companies have made a fortune for decades selling ads in your local Yellow Pages. Before the age of the internet, this was an essential and useful tool for anyone looking for goods and services, and a good Yellow Pages ad could bring huge gains to your business.
Fast forward to today, though, and many of the mainstays of print media — such as classifieds, movie listings, and yes, searches for goods and services — have gone online, where you can find in seconds what used to take several minutes of leafing through fragile pages to do. But our phone companies just won’t let go of that revenue stream, and so every year millions of tons of books very few people under 60 use or want get dumped on the doorsteps of homes and apartment buildings.
So how do you stop this? By opting out of Yellow Pages delivery. Here’s how: In the U.S., you just go to the Yellow Pages Opt-Out site, and those of you who are up North, there’s the Canadian Yellow Pages Opt-Out site.
Opting out — assuming the folks who deliver your local Yellow Pages actually respect the fact that you’ve declined deliver — saves trees, cuts down on wasteful manufacturing effects, and saves some of the gas it takes to deliver this relic to your door. That’s assuming you actually have the patience to suffer through the opt-out process. Editor Dennis Burger opted-out this week, and found the web page to be laggier, buggier, and more prone to HTML errors than HealthCare.gov.
Treehugger posits a better solution. If only the Yellow Pages were an opt-in service for people who actually still wanted them, we’d be saving even more trees, and cutting down even more on the energy wasted producing and transporting them. The only real losers in that scenario? Small children at the dinner table and those who wish to stop forklifts dead in their tracks