Bacteria Key in Solar Power Breakthrough

The deep sea is taking a page from the eco-friendly intern book it would seem! Scientists are currently studying green sulfur bacteria, an eco-conscious source for modern power and technology. Green sulfur bacteria, which live nearly a mile under the ocean’s surface, use minute amounts of solar power efficiently. So efficiently that in some cases these bacteria are able to convert 100% of the solar power they absorb into electricity.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge are researching the bacteria’s light harvesting proteins to see what advances they could offer the field of solar energy. The green sulfur bacteria is able to move electrons through their system of photosynthesis until harvest without losing energy along the way, unlike other known organisms that engage in photosynthesis. Unraveling the mystery could be groundbreaking in clean energy, opening the door to the most efficient solar panels possible. Currently, “innovative” panels are able to convert approximately 28% of solar power into electricity and are much more expensive than the standard panels.

So, what’s next for these little buggers? After saving the planet and developing energy to efficiently power our homes, where will their next mission begin? Perhaps, and this is only speculation, they may make their way to powering our smartphones, tablets and more. Solar power is already being adopted into city infrastructure goals on streetlights, parking meters, and more, why not make solar power mobile and make the battery a back-up?

That step is further down the line, but maybe not as far away as we think. After all, as all eco-friendly interns at this digital marketing agency know, technology and eco-awareness go hand in hand.

We’re Eco Friendly and Going Green

Two years ago, I thought recycling was for scrubs and hippies. Then I moved to Ann Arbor and started school.  Between them both, I had no chance. Ann Arbor recently implemented sustainability framework containing sixteen goals to make the city more eco friendly, while the University of Michigan has an extremely active campaign to become an eco friendly and sustainable campus.

The university’s PlanetBlue campaign includes new solar powered, hybrid buses and vehicles and a recycling program in The Big House, which is the largest of any stadium in the country. President Mary Sue Coleman approved a $14 million dollar budget in 2011, to make the University of Michigan campus more sustainable and eco friendly by 2025.

A new academic minor in sustainability has been approved in the Program in the Environment Department. New ways to help the environment are being developed daily and more and more campus groups are banding together to make our campus and city more sustainable and eco friendly.

Although I’ve learned a lot of eco friendly habits from my peers, my short time as an Ingenex intern has really emphasized the importance of being diligent in changing some of my continuing ‘bad’ habits. I’ve learned multiple eco friendly tips, the importance of green roofing and how the continuing transition to digital marketing saves paper and resources. So next time you get ready to throw away a plastic water bottle or print a seventeen page article that you won’t read for class anyway, think about what you are doing to the environment. After all, Earth is the only home we have. Why not save it?

ECO-VERTISING!

More and more corporations are starting to combine their advertising efforts with the trend to go eco-friendly, a relationship known to some as eco-advertising or eco-vertising.  This relationship allows corporations to benefit from advertising about their attitude and interventions in regard to eco-friendly business. 

Despite the message the eco-friendly ads these corporations are sending  many are forgetting that the means through which they are sending them are far from eco-friendly.  Using mass print media such as magazines or newspapers, fliers or billboards all of which require paper, printing, transportation, and numerouse other un-natural and environmentally deterring resources to create.  The big question is, is it the profit margin of this new niche market they are trying to capitalize on or are they really hoping to make a difference? 

Although some corporations unfortunately might be making the choice for the wrong reasons there are many out there that are leading the way in eco-vertising. 

For starters Toyota known today for being one of the leaders in Hybrid cars took their eco-friendly outreach to a whole new level when introducing their 3rd generation Prius at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.  Instead of handing out glossy brochures inside large plastic bags to be carried around the show by as many people as they can get their hands on, they chose to continue to make positive changes by handing out paper cards in the shape of their new car with seeds embedded in them.  When placed in soil and given water and light the seeds in these cards provided beautiful flowers for their audience to remember them by all summer long.  Stepping out of the box and into an eco-friendly mindset Toyota not only lead the way with their eco-friendly car but also stood as one of the eco-vertising leaders at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show!

So how many other ways can a company eco-vertise? 

Curb, a natural media company based in London, UK has answered this question with their unique eco-vertising concepts.  Clean advertising and snow tagging are two out of the many I found interesting in their bag of tricks.

 eco-vertising_clean-ad4eco-vertising_snowtagging2

  • Clean advertising: laser cut stencils are put on surfaces like a pavement and the surface is then cleaned to let the message shine through the dirt and grime.
  • Snow tagging: company logos/messages are branded into the snow for a winter advertising.

Despite the out of the box thinking and unique eco-vertising techniques being developed there are other ways to go green which can start sooner than you think.  One niche that I personally have become a big fan of that is growing exponentially is the use of digital media as a platform for advertising.  It requires nothing but the power of technology that is already on the desktops and palms of your target audience.  Digital media eliminates the need for most (or at least some to start with) print material and provides mass outreach like never before, best of all this method of going green saves you some green at the same time!

Derek Mehraban (CEO, Ingenex Digital Marketing) continues to develop the digital media presence for individuals and businesses so they can eco-vertise to reach their audience.  Mehraban is not only focused on providing an eco-friendly service but like Toyota, he supports this green initiative through other parts of his company.  In Mehraban’s case it is not an eco-friendly pamphlet but a unique eco-friendly internship program that helps interns like myself reduce the carbon footprint on the world.  

Deepti Dewan Chowdhry

The EFI Experiment . . .

How many times a day do you use Google to search for something, entering a particular word or combination of words to get the results that you want? In digital marketing, search-engine optimization (SEO) allows marketers to get their message to those people searching for information relevant to their product, reaching a larger audience and hopefully gaining some of that audience as new clients.

Part of search-engine optimization is using a unique phrase that you and you alone can claim as yours. Due to intense competition for the top spots, it isn’t uncommon to see millions of results when searching for a particular phrase (try googling Britney Spears if you don’t believe me). The goal of SEO is making sure that when a phrase is searched, your phrase is one of the top results.

Last week at Ingenex Digital Marketing we decided to conduct a small experiment and see if each of us could dominate the number one spot on Google. We each chose a phrase that we felt represented ourselves and our internships, and used that in our individual blogs, as well as using the phrases to link to each others’ blogs. My phrase of choice is ‘Digital Eco Fusion‘ and I believe that it truly does define both my internship and who I would like to be upon completing my internship. You can see a snapshot of the Google search results for ‘Digital Eco Fusion’ below; this is before I wrote using the term.

Before Experiment

Before Experiment

Once we wrote our blog posts, making sure to link back to each other, you can see the effect it had on my popularity:

After Experiment

After Experiment

Pretty cool right? Nice to see that SEO really works! This experiment has shown me that successful digital marketing requires both innovation and cooperation, and that I too can be as cool as Britney.