Alameda, CA Taking Advantage of Industry Resource

Today’s guest blogger Lena Tam is a member of the Alameda City Council in California.

Last year, I began working with the Local Search Association to help educate Alameda County residents about the Yellow Pages industry’s opt-out program aimed at cutting back on the number of unused books.  This is an effort that is extremely important, especially as our nation becomes more aware of environmental issues.

Today, many businesses in California and across the country are stepping up and doing their part to promote a healthier – and greener – lifestyle.  The Yellow Pages is one example of an industry taking a leading role in reducing paper by producing smaller books and providing an easy-to-use portal for individuals to limit or opt out of the delivery of Yellow Pages directories to their homes.

As I mentioned in a recent op-ed published in Public CEO titled, “Yellow Pages and Alameda County are Getting Greener, Together,” the Yellow Pages play a critical role in our community – and while the print directory continues to be valuable, many of my constituents are turning to digital options.  The industry has recognized this reality as an opportunity to cut back on unused books and for those who prefer searching online, the website allows them to limit or even stop directory delivery.

The site is straightforward and comes at absolutely no cost to taxpayers or local governments – and is certainly a valuable resource for individuals and communities that are looking for ways to reduce waste.  It is also a huge help for elected officials like me that are forced to balance environmental priorities with economic realities.

I am pleased that Alameda residents who do not want to receive a phone book can opt-out using this simple online tool.

I also encourage other elected officials to join in and spread the word about this resource.  We are all looking for ways to help our communities be more sustainable.  Increasing visibility for this program is the single best thing we can do to help residents manage delivery of phone books to their homes.

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