Ok, so here’s the deal. For as long as I can remember, Phone Books have been more of a doorstop than anything. Yeah, they were good for the occasional late night cab ride or pizza delivery, but 2-8 inches of impossible-to-rip pages just never made any sense to me.
Since I’ve been at WhitePages, I’ve heard from a number of customers, employees, clients, etc. that Phone Books really shouldn’t exist. The advent of the internet along with easy access to information has made the traditional Phone Book obsolete…at least for most of us. In fact, a number our users actually confuse WhitePages.com with the phonebook (go figure) and are asking us to opt them out of receiving mail delivered books. Hmmm…..there’s an idea!
I did some research a few weeks back to see what I could dig up on this Phone Book issue. Not surprisingly, a number of others are already on the crush-the-phonebook bandwagon and my research was pretty easy. So, I’ve come up with 5 Reasons why I think the Phone Book should ceremoniously be put to rest.
- It’s super-easy to Opt-out of receiving Phone Books. Who knew that an option ever even existed?.
- Paul Collins states in Slate Magazine that the 615 million volumes of phonebooks produced in 2007 equates to 100 million tons. That just doesn’t seem right.
- Recycling 500 books a day would save between 17 and 31 trees, 7000 gallons of water, and 463 gallons of oil according to the American Forest and Paper Association and Earth 911.
- The annoyance of trying to determine how to best get rid of and/or recycle the 6-10 phonebooks received each year is becoming unbearable.
- With over 200M people in the WhitePages Connectory database, most people have a better chance of finding who they’re looking for on our site than they do in a Phone Book. Love the shameless self promotion!
Now, to be fair, there are legitimate reasons for Phone Books not to completely disappear. The few of us without internet access may not appreciate losing touch with folks and the small businesses that rely on Yellow Pages advertising to attract customers have a legitimate beef to keep the books coming. But it sure seems like we can reduce the number of books delivered each year and the ridiculous amounts of waste that they create.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Phone Books and whether you think they’re useful or completely unwarranted. Who knows, maybe WhitePages will get a bit more involved in trying to curb Phone Book printing!