When Was the Last Time You Used a Phone Book?

When Was the Last Time You Used a Phone Book?

Jason Yang
Jun 22, 2011

With California's recent law killing the massive phone book, tons of waste and countless addition of man hours and resources are being saved. And who needs a phone book now when there are tons of online resources and mobile apps to replace the antiquated phone book? Here's a few

According to Banthephonebook.org, over 5 million trees are cut down each year to provide us with the thick telephone and address directory we mostly use as a door stop. The numbers are astounding, with only 15.9 percent of phonebooks being recycled. Apparently up to $17 million in taxpayer funded recycling fees would be saved every year if phonebooks were no longer published. Consider the costs associated with printing them in the first place too!

So how do we find people and businesses in this digital age? Why with the internet, of course!

Facebook seems to be the first place we turn to when trying to reach out to someone from the past. While phone numbers and addresses are a personal choice for including in a member's profile, messaging them is a quick and easy way to ease into a conversation.

Google's GOOG-411 attempt to replace the phone book was shuttered last year, but their Google Maps tool is still a fantastic way to find local businesses. Services such as Yelp make it easier than ever to find what you're looking for, and provides vetted results too.

Commercial sites such as White Pages and Yellow Pages offer people and business searches as well as reverse phone number lookups which can be handy for when unknown numbers show up on your caller ID. And of course they've all migrated their services to mobile apps, for iOS and Android devices.

Switchboard is another popular choice for Yellow and White Pages online directories.

What other carryover from the non-digital age are you eager to see go? Share your ideas for saving both money and the planet!

(Images: Flickr member Jerry Paffendorf licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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