Phone Book Opt-Out Program Gives Choice to Consumers

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Image: Shutterstock / Dex

Did you know you can control how many phone books you get every year, or whether you get one at all?

In the age of smart phones and Wi-Fi, the way people search for information is changing. For many, online search options are the new go-to for finding contact information to local residences or businesses. That means when a printed phone book arrives on your doorstep, it might go to waste.

So why do phone books continue to show up?

According to the Local Search Association, 70 percent of consumers still prefer to receive a printed phone book every year.

It can be easy to forget that there are still circumstances that make some people more likely to rely on phone books for their directory information. Maybe it’s a rural area that offers spotty internet service, a smaller community where businesses aren’t online or a person who is less tech-reliant or prefers print, in general.

But if it happens that you’re not someone who uses phone books, it’s easier than ever to visit the National Yellow Pages consumer choice opt-out site and opt out of receiving them, or customize your delivery options so that you only get the books you want.

If you won’t use a printed phone book, opting out offers some great green advantages. Creating and delivering a phone book requires energy, fuel, paper and other resources that can all be saved in advance.

It may come as a surprise that the phone book industry is actually a driving force behind the initiative to opt out. Along with the natural transition to provide digital services, marketing companies that produce phone books realize that it doesn’t benefit anyone involved to deliver unwanted books.

Providing resources to people in the format they want to use has become the new focus, whether it’s in the form of a printed phone book or an online directory. For example, Dex One offers digital products and solutions in addition to its print options and saw growth of 53 percent in its digital products in the second quarter of 2012.

Within the industry, Dex One has taken a leadership role in championing the opt-out program and continues to make unique efforts to encourage eco-conscious options.

First of the major directory producers to promote the opt-out option, Dex One continues to collaborate with communities to help make sure its directories don’t go to waste.

Dex One started a door hanger program that encourages people who don’t want phone books to customize the number of directories they receive or to opt out. In many areas, Dex One also provides follow-up “sweeps” after book deliveries to collect unclaimed books to be reallocated or properly recycled.

Dex One has reduced its paper usage by promoting opt-out, enhancing its online services and making more compact, paper-efficient versions of its directory for those who want to use it. Through its efforts in environmental responsibility, resources like paper and energy are being saved.

Editor’s Note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. Dex One is one of these partners.

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