Saving my Paper for Something I Actually Read

I tried to go out the front door this afternoon to retrieve my mail only to find it blocked with a telephone book. A few weeks ago, the same thing happened. And then it dawned on me–every few weeks the exact same thing happens. Sometimes it’s more than one volume, an entire encyclopedic set of phone listings and handy services. In the past, I’ve dutifully swapped the old book for the new, jamming the fresh one on the shelf in the Harry Potter closet under my stairs where it’s forgotten until the next round. The old one is packed off to the recycling bin, unused and unappreciated. Today, though, the wastefulness of this ritual hit me with full force. I’ve known for a long while that phone books are archaic; the Internet has rendered them useless–at least in this household. But, I have never done anything about their unwelcome arrival at my doorstep. Like Biblical plagues of locusts or El Nino summers, I suppose I thought there was nothing to do about them. Today, though, my epiphany inspired me to call the number on the front of my telephone book and ask the nice girl on the other end to stop sending them to me. And she said okay.

Easy as that.

I feel better knowing my share of paper will be reserved for the bound matter I truly care about, the stuff that will sit for a lifetime on my shelves and will see the inside of a recycling bin only when I’m cold dead and out of control of their fate. In their neat rows and stacks they will earn their regal yellow pages with the passing of time–instead of coming pre-jaundiced by virtue of some chemical alteration at the manufacturing plant.

If anyone else is interested in getting rid of their quarterly helping of smeary-inked pulp, go ahead and give the publishing company a call. It’s surprisingly simple. If you get the Verizon behemoths printed out by Idearc Media, their number is 1-800-888-8448. Or, if you can’t find your phone company’s publisher’s number or just don’t have the time to deal with it, you can go to this website and get these good people to handle the dirty work for you: Yellow Pages Goes Green.

It’s okay to let your fingers keep walking–maybe just restrict their strolls to the keyboard from now on.

About Avery

I am a roller derbying, dark fantasy author. This blog chronicles my adventures in life, writing and skating. View all posts by Avery

9 responses to “Saving my Paper for Something I Actually Read

  • sexy

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  • Lana Gramlich

    I hear you on the house closing. Fret not, I suspect I’ll have the painting until your circumstances change. 😉 *L*

  • Avery

    Charles — I didn’t really know, either. I took a chance and lucked out on the first try.Lana — Just think of all those phone books you could save (and beautify).As far as the painting goes; you torture me! I love it very much, but right now we’re closing on our first house and every single spare penny is going into the purchase and subsequent renovations that will hopefully keep our gas bills from pushing half a grand a month in the winter. With that in mind, I’m going to have to pass for now. I am, however, very saddened to do so; it’s so much prettier than a roll of insulation.

  • Lana Gramlich

    I’ve been thinking about perhaps using old phone books (or their pages,) in an artistic way. Not sure how to do that just yet, though.FYI, in case you hadn’t seen my reply to your comment about my recent painting (the vultures in the tree,) if you like it, it’s yours for $20 (inc. shipping.) Let me know.

  • Charles Gramlich

    I pay such little attention I didn’t even realize there was a number you could call for this. I’m in.

  • Avery DeBow

    Steve — That’s the really annoying thing, there’s the local book, the One Book, The Yellow Pages… Just how many phone books do they think I need?Sqt — Not for long. Once the deal closes on this house (we’re buying our rental), the Architect is destroying the H.P. cupboard and putting in a floating metal stair. The cool thing is the whole wall by the floating stair will be a two-story built-in bookcase. You’re free to join my sister in the mourning of the cupboard, though; she’s thinks we’re insane.You have to call the publisher of the phone book, not the phone company. Their name and number should be either on the front page or somewhere near the front or back of the book.Shobbs — Thanks for the visit, as well as the information and honesty. As I said before, the phone book is obsolete for me, personally. I’m sure many people still use it, which is fine. My point is those who never even open it would be better off stopping the delivery and keeping them out of the landfill–where they do no good to anyone.

  • shobbs

    FYI, last year U.S. consumers referenced the print yellow pages 13.4 billion times and used it in conjunction with online yp to provide small businesses with one of the highest returns on their advertising investment. That said, calling the publisher is the best way to stop delivery as most of them won’t take the “do no deliver” information from a third party. Full disclosure, I work for the Yellow Pages Association.

  • SQT

    First, I’m totally jealous that you have a Harry Potter closet. Second, I’m calling the phone company.

  • Steve Malley

    I remember waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy back in the days when I had my tattoo studio in the US, you’d get five, six different reps from different phone books, all trying to sell ad space in *their* directory.Lotta wasted paper, especially considering in those days, there weren’t but twelve working phones in the whole country!

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