City: Opting out of phone book deliveries saves trees

Cupertino considering opting out of phone book deliveriesPhoto: City of Cupertino

The city of Cupertino is among the jurisdictions across the nation that wonder whether phone book deliveries are necessary anymore.

This is what the city posted on its website recently:

“Nearly 70-percent of adults rarely or never use a phone book. Are you one of them? It’s easy to save trees by opting out of your phone book delivery. Visit phonebookoptout.us/go.”

With Internet access on our laptops and smartphones, it may surprise some that people still use the printed telephone directories. According to a report in the Consumerist last year, plenty do, but the numbers are declining.

“According to the Local Search Association, print business phone directories are a $3 billion industry, with a full 40-percent of Americans consulting one at least once a year,” the article stated. The Consumerist cited a Wall Street Journal report examining usage of the books in New York City, where Yellowbook deliveries in Brooklyn and Manhattan have been cut.

In September, the public utility commission in Pennsylvania allowed Verizon to “discontinue saturation deliveries of the phone books,” according to Philly.com. The previous month, Frontier Communications of Nebraska sought permission from a state commission to halt printed distribution, and to instead steer customers to an online directory.

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