There has been talk about what office tools may become completely obsolete in the future, if not already – fax machines, desktop computers and cassette recorders have been found by studies to be on their way out. But something else that may soon be added to this list is the phone book. One university has found that the campus wide-directory has been so rarely used that they are opting out of it this year, with an online version only.
According to the Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa's newspaper, the paper copy of the school's directory will no longer be printed to help the school become more sustainable. Last year, the school ordered more than 6,000 copies of the directory to sell to students, but have found the demand has decreased in past years. The number of Yellow Pages and Dex phonebooks on campus has also decreased in demand.
With so many students using online services to find phone numbers, it's unsurprising that the need for paper directories is declining, and other universities may also be making the switch.
This change will also help reduce waste as well as meet the goal of having a recycling efficiency rate of 60 percent by 2020, compared to the current rate of 30 percent. Other departments are stepping in to help the school reach its goal, too.
"Many professors are going completely paperless," Liz Christiansen, the director of the UI Office of Sustainability told the news source. "They'll provide readings online. The UI has dropped the copy-paper purchase by 50 percent in the last few years."
To make the switch to a sustainable school, colleges and other businesses with high volumes of paper can employ document scanning services. By outsourcing to records management companies, businesses can meet their goal of going green even faster.