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Google launches 'Paperless 2013' campaign

Google and a group of other companies are encouraging users to help the environment while saving time and money this year by adopting a New Year's resolution to go paperless.

The web giant is part of the Paperless Coalition, which this week launched a new campaign called "Paperless 2013," aimed at helping users reduce their dependency on paper. While tools like Google Drive cloud storage service make it possible to have a paperless world, the average office worker still uses a staggering 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year, according to statistics from America's Environmental Protection Agency. Moreover, the amount of paper recovered for recycling in 2010 averaged 334 pounds per person.

The Paperless Coalition, which also includes partners HelloFax, Manilla, HelloSign, Expensify, Xero, and Fujitsu ScanSnap, is asking users to sign an electronic pledge to go paperless in 2013, and invite others to do the same. Those who sign up will receive a monthly newsletter highlighting the best ways to remove paper from their lives.

Though it might be a change, users can reduce their use of paper for most office tasks like billing, faxing, signing documents, and accounting, Joseph Walla, CEO and co-founder of online faxing company HelloFax, wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

"The old habit of using paper is hard to break," Walla wrote. "That's why we're making it as simple as possible for you to move into a paperless world."

With Google Drive, for example, users can store important documents in the cloud and access them anywhere without having to worry about keeping a paper copy, Google Drive product marketing manager Meredith Blackwell, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

"There are also other great apps that can help you get things done in the cloud — no printer required," she wrote. "So whether you're an expense reporter, invoice tracker, file hoarder, or note jotter, you can do it all without using paper."

For more, visit the Paperless 2013 website, and sign the pledge.

Image credit: Woking Borough Council