Just this past week, six phone books ended up sitting at our front door. And for us, phone books go straight from the front door to phone bookthe recycling bin. (They have for years; who needs them when  you’re online 16 hours a day?)

So it got me to thinking. Is there a way you can opt out of receiving phone books?

According to Green Tips, that’s a very difficult task at best.

Every year the North American Yellow Pages prints around 540 million copies of the Yellow Pages. Because so many people aren’t set up with land lines in their homes, they deliver a few extra to people that may only have mobile devices. They keep printing and delivering, but from everything I can tell, there’s no way of opting out.

You can sign a Paperless Petition, and hope to capture the attention of the Yellow Pages industry.

You can opt out on the Yellow Pages Goes Green site.

Even places like Dex have sites exclusively for recycling. But  its all for recycling old and out of date books – not how to opt out of receiving them at all.

I understand why a billion dollar industry is holding on as tight as possible to what’s left of the industry. But let me ask you a few questions.

  • When was the last time you pulled a phone book out to look up a company in a new niche?
  • When was the last time you pulled out a phone book to decide what restaurant to go to on a Friday night?
  • When was the last time you pulled out a phone book to find resources for your business?

If you’re like me, the answer would be at least ten years. Now let me ask you a few more questions.

  • Are you still advertising in the phone book?
  • How much are you spending?
  • How could you use that money to advertise in other media sources that are getting a whole lot more attention?