Save The Planet?

If someone out there really wants to save the planet, they’ll come up with a way to stop phone books from being dumped on your front door.  I don’t think that I’ve looked in a phone book in the last two or three years.  Yet I get three or four of the damn things, all from competing companies.  Some even come in multiples (like the company that sends a large book and a smaller satellite book for “your convenience”).

I did some searching to see how one might politely decline the avalanche of unwanted paper, but it turns out that getting them to stop is harder than you might initially think.  Once you understand the economics of the deal, however, it all makes sense.  The deliveries are actually done by a subcontractor who gets paid for each book delivered (typically some tiny amount like $0.15 per book).  So it’s in the best interest of the subcontractor to deliver as many books as possible.  On top of that, the companies that print the books base their ad sales rates on their coverage, so they have absolutely no incentive to take you off their lists.

What we need is some sort of sign that indicates to all and sundry that the resident doesn’t want marketing material, phone books, promotional newspapers, or any other such nonsense.  I added those other categories because I’ve seen that some companies don’t seem to understand that “No Soliciting” also means not to leave any marketing junk on my door.


  1. Jim Carson says:

    I wish I could make it illegal for people to throw trash on your property, but the transaction costs of determining “one man’s trash” vs. “another man’s treasure” are just too prohibitive.

  2. epi 1:10,000 says:

    A 2 inch thick phone book will stop a FMJ 9mm, 40 or 45.  My cousin built a shelf in his basement to use old books as a backstop for those rainy days. (He lives in an unincorporated area) Decent ballistic shield but a very poor fire retardant.  Good thing everyone in my family is or has been a volunteer fire fighter.