Yellow Pages Goes Green Spearheads Grassroots Call to Action

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Local jurisdictions across the country must follow the lead of cities like San Francisco and Seattle in enacting legislation to curtail the proliferation of unwanted paper yellow pages directories.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that 840,000 tons of telephone directories went into the municipal waste stream in 2008.

All politics is local. Realizing the enormous impact that local initiatives can have upon national public policy, Yellow Pages Goes Green, an online business directory owned by Yellow Pages Directory, Inc., is joining forces with the Green Chamber of Commerce in spearheading a Call to Action to promote conservation and eliminate the unnecessary waste inherent in the production and distribution of printed yellow pages books. Yellow Pages Goes Green urges governmental leaders in villages, towns, counties and cities across the United States to join us in furthering the Green movement and preserving our environment by sponsoring local legislation requiring that publishers of printed yellow directories be subject to opt-in or, at the very least, opt-out requirements. As a first step, Yellow Pages Goes Green is hereby calling upon local jurisdictions throughout the country to post a link to on their individual governmental websites. This will raise public awareness of the opt-out option while providing a convenient means to achieve it, and will produce immediate results everywhere the link is posted.

While the distinction between the opt-in and out-out models is simple, the difference is nothing short of dramatic. The opt-in model, as illustrated by recent legislation passed in San Francisco and slated to begin on May 1, 2012, will restrict the delivery of printed yellow directories to those who have either requested them beforehand or personally agree to accept them at time of delivery. Adopted despite the organized opposition of various Yellow Pages publishers and trade groups, San Francisco's three-year pilot program is intended not only to be eco-friendly, but also affords the practical benefits of limiting the distribution of yellow books to those who actually want them, and saving the city the carting and recycling fees associated with disposing of tons of unsolicited books. Both Yellow Pages Goes Green and the Green Chamber of Commerce acknowledge that mandatory opt-in programs such as San Francisco's promise the greatest potential for environmental benefit, and call upon local governments nationwide to consider similar legislation.

Opt-out registries, such as that recently enacted by the City of Seattle, are the next-most potent weapon against the scourge of yellow pollution. In Seattle, companies that deliver printed yellow books to citizens who've opted out through the city's webpage can be fined up to $125 per book, and consumers who still want a directory can choose the one they'd like to receive from among the several different books delivered each years throughout the city. It has been reported that nearly 250,000 books have already been canceled through the Seattle program; a huge step in the right direction.

The only drawback to the opt-out model is that it works only when people actually take the initiative and opt out. How many times have you come home to find phone books dumped in your driveway or dropped at your front door? Did you want or need them? Do they even make it inside the house before you toss them? You might have opted out from receiving those bulky, wasteful, unsolicited yellow directories by visiting and following the simple "opt-out" prompts, but it just didn't occur to you to do that until the latest Yellow Pages print edition appeared at your residence. In that sense, the opt-out model is analogous to those old record clubs; unless one mailed back the "Do Not Send" card each month, the merchandise would just keep coming. Awareness of the options available is crucial, and we ask that civic leaders throughout the nation join us now in getting the word out -- no more
unwanted yellow books!

About Yellow Pages Directory Inc.
Provides an eco-friendly Internet-based alternative to printed telephone books as well as helps consumers optout of print directories. The online site helps customers reduce their environmental footprint by giving them a substitute for traditional print Yellow Pages directories, reducing their paper use. The company owns both as well as, both of which have contributed greatly through the years to today's general opt-out awareness in the United States. As an initiative for the promotion of green
eco-friendly alternatives Yellow Pages Directory Inc. takes several added initiatives to minimize the impact it has on the environment with its own office space, computers, servers and web site hosting services.

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Michael Keegan
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