The elections  are over, Mr.Obama got re-elected, the fiscal cliff bill was tabled! That's enough political hooplah for the New Year to begin with.

If most of us thought that 2013 hasn't done anything utilitarian so far, just wait till you read this.

The Paperless Coalition is an eco-friendly and inspirational grassroots campaign, flagged by The PaperlessProject.com. A host of leading web firms including Google, HelloFax, Manilla, Expensify, Fujitsu, Xero have teamed up with the exclusive agenda to transform "the way organizations work with paper and electronic content... and concentrates on reducing a Company's carbon footprint as well as paper usage through the use of content management and imaging technologies."

If you reckon that its a worthwhile campaign, you can visit the coalition's website to sign up to pledge a paperless 2013. Also there is a monthly newsletter that provides pointers and innovative articles for businesses to function in a paper-free way. So basically it not mere sloganeering but actual solutions too that you get. Impressive!

So an obvious question for those wearing the critics' hat now is: Can paper be totally abandoned? How will it benefit organizations? What are the alternatives then?

Just try imagining for a second, working in an office minus any paper. Seems truly outlandish!

Here's some interesting tidbit brought to you by the PaperlessProject team. They quote US Environmental Protection Agency stats that suggests "an average US office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. In 2010, the amount of paper recovered for recycling, averaged 334 pounds for each person living in the US". Added to this, the Obama administration too has pledged  $50 bn dollars to digitize the US medical records.

Although PAPER has become a way of life; there are some moments when you just can't make-do without it. Its rather funny that company secretaries of top cyber firms still carry that small notepad to meetings while their organization manufacture's laptops and Notebooks for the world! Writers are a section of society who wouldn't be too amenable with this for starts. Paper and pen are their traditional tools of trade after all. But there are no two ways about the fact that we as individuals and society at large indulge in wasting paper; surprisingly in a world that's gone digital already.

Be it big organizations or small firms or government offices, paper is a staple resource for any kind of documentation. It has been observed that firms loose out on productivity hours specifically due to this reason. In fact, 60% of employees spend time working with documents and 85% of business documents are in the paper form. Most of you 80's folks can relate to this, when computers were still not a commoner's thing and most offices had a single Xerox or copier machine. Getting that important document copied was a draining task indeed!

What most businesses don't realize is the conspicuous nature of paper. Office supplies are one of the biggest listings on the account books, 'paper' occupying a large share. Small businesses, that constantly work towards cutting out their production costs need to keep this in mind.

As it was mentioned before, going absolutely paper-free is a difficult proposition, but there are other digital alternatives to this. Its going to be a slow-n-steady process no doubt, so start right away!

1. LifeLock 
 It is a an anti-theft service that removes the name of the user from all mailing lists that they do not wish to be part of.

2. Genius Scan
It literally transforms your phone into a pocket-size scanner where you can also share documents and photos via the cloud.

3. Square Reader
This app facilitates free credit card payments from iPhones at absolutely affordable price  with email alerts sent to the user.

4. HelloFax
Businesses can use this to seamlessly fill in forms, sign documents and request signatures before the fax is dispatched.

5. Doxie
This desktop-free scanner facilitates digitizing your documents into Dropbox and Google Docs.

6. PostalMethods and Virtual Post Mail
Businesses can now easily send mails, upload documents in an organized web portal. Moreover, they furnish your letters into envelopes, stamp and mail it too.

7. CardMunch
This app transforms business cards into valid graphics with essential information directly to phones and adds the contact to the address books also.

8. Bank Of America it Chase
With mCommerce gaining a steady foothold, businesses no longer have to bother writing checks. Several banks including the Bank of America offer e-Bill pay services and check deposits via mobile devices.

So businesses take a cue from the top guns and get set to evolve your enterprise the green way - "Do more with Less" this year!

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