Saturday, May 8, 2010

Good news of the weekend: No more White Pages in New York!

Last Tuesday I had a 'pleasant' surprise on my doorsteps (see photo above): a new thick copy of the local white pages, which I really didn't want and I'll never use. If printing the yellow pages is a wasteful and anachronistic practice, what can you say about the white pages? even my 95-old grandfather doesn't use them anymore!

Therefore, I was very happy to read today in the New York Times that Verizon is looking "to end the annual delivery of millions of White Pages to all of its customers in New York." Mazal Tov as we say in Hebrew!

And the savings? According to the article "the company estimates that it would save nearly 5,000 tons of paper by ending the automatic distribution of the books."

Verizon is quoting a 2008 Gallup survey saying that "only about one of every nine households uses the hard-copy listings anymore," but somehow I find it difficult to believe that we're talking about more than 10% usage. It looks to me that it's more somewhere around 1%-2% and the example brought in the article (320-unit building in New York when not even one copy was requested) demonstrates it.

I was surprised to hear that the phone companies are required by law to deliver these guides. Hence Verizon and other phone companies need to ask the regulators for a waiver. Is there any chance to see a change in this anachronistic legislation? I sure hope so.

Last but not least, this is of course a win-win move that will benefit not only the environment but also the bottom line of the publisher, SuperMedia.

Kudos to Verizon for doing the right thing. I hope you'll continue and move forward in other states as well, and don't forget Delaware. I really hope this is the last time I'll find such pleasant surprises on my doorsteps!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!