It seems that at least a couple of times a year we arrive home to the discovery of a big stack of phone books at the front door of our building. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a single person in our building who actually uses a phone book so they usually remain in that pile by the door until someone drags them to the recycling bin. There must be an easier way!
There is indeed an easier way to deal with the phone book problem – well sort of. By registering at Yellow Pages Goes Green, you can opt out of phone book delivery completely. It's not the easiest process – after entering your zip code on the site, all the telephone directories in your area are listed and you must first register on the site before you can opt-out. Once you are emailed a user name and password, you may then log on and select which books you would like to receive or you may opt-out of receiving any at all. This opt-out applies only to yellow pages directories so we will undoubtedly still receive white pages. And unfortunately you may only send one request per household so this will not stop the delivery of the stack of phone books that's left at our front door, it will just make that stack a little shorter. In order to prevent any books from being delivered, we will need to rally all our neighbors to also go to the site and opt-out.
There's also a movement afoot to stop the delivery of phone books completely. Banthephonebook.org is an online petition to create an opt-in program for phone books. So you know if you want a phone book, you ask for one. This actually sounds like the most logical way to curb the waste of unwanted phone books but there are arguments against an opt-in program. One argument is that older folks and others who rely on phone books would not be informed that they would need to start opting-in. The city of Seattle is currently trying to create an opt-in policy for phone books and they are meeting much opposition from the publishers.