A telephone directory or phone book is a listing of the subscribers to that company or within a geographical area; phone books normally include the address as well as the phone number of individuals so that they can be reached. Phone books almost always, no matter in what area they are delivered, also include business listings and advertisements for businesses in the area. Many phone books are delivered unsolicited, especially phone books such as the Yellow Pages (businesses) or the White Pages (personal listings). The first telephone directory was issued in 1878 on a single piece of cardboard and it listed 50 businesses in New Haven, Connecticut, that had phones. While phone books were once a very necessary part of daily life in order to find friends, family and local businesses, today with the Internet they are often not very useful.
Today many companies offer online directories or directories through a CD-ROM to cut down on waste. However, many other companies still deliver a phone book every year, and many complain this creates a lot of unnecessary waste. There are steps that can be taken in order to ensure that phone books are no longer delivered to individuals.
Websites such as http://www.yellowpagesoptout.com/ allow individuals to decide which directories that they receive based upon what is eligible within their area. If someone is uncomfortable giving out his or her name and address, the companies can be called directly to opt out of phone book delivery at the following numbers:
AT&T/YellowPages: 800.792.2665 Verizon: 800.888.8448 Dex: 877.243.8339 Yellow Book: 800.373.3280
In some areas it may be necessary to contact the telephone service provider directly to ensure that they do not deliver phone books as well. If an individual is unhappy with the waste created by phone books but unsure about whether he or she will be able to find the phone numbers needed, some good resources are whitepages.com, dexknows.com and just simply using a search engine such as Google to search for the business or the individual.