Go Green Without Breaking the Bank

The 2010 Honda Insight will be a catalyst that has the potential to make owning a hybrid an affordable option for Main Street, with price tags below $20,000. The past two years at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is exemplary of  the green trend, all of the auto companies presented new models on a green platform, only Honda has been able to make it affordable, for now at least.

There are three elements consistent in hybrid engine design that contributes to better fuel economy.

1) Having both an electric engine and gasoline engine that shuts down during peak power usage.

2)A battery capable of storing large amounts of energy

3) The ability to recapture energy during braking

These are the staples for hybrid design that the automobile industry is working towards as a whole to make the most efficient and affordable. But what about those potential hybrid consumers on a budget? More importantly, what about those consumers that are about to get pink slipped? What options do they have to drive a fuel efficient vehicle while not falling into debt?

There are a variety of options to change transportation behavior: buy a hybrid, carpool, ride a bike, ride a bus, teleconference, all of which require a change in behavior. Aftermarket computer chips are an option that does not require any change whatsoever. A variety of companies offer performance grade computer chips that are installed on the electronic control unit(ECU) of an engine and will optimize an engine’s performance to create higher horsepower and torque and can be utilized for higher fuel efficieny, up to 5 mpg. Once installed, the programmer’s smart system immediately recognizes vital information of the vehicle’s engine, powertrain and transmission, and can be adjusted without having a deep understanding of computer programming. Hypertech offers a Max Energy E-con Programmer, specifically designed to imporve fuel economy, it retails at $329.99 and is available on 22 different car models.

The question is: why are you only able to find these on automobile supply websites, trade publications, and AutoZone? Why aren’t these things at Meijers’, Sears and Target? Buying a performance chip is less expensive with a little les R-O-MPG in the long-term. So when are after-marker computer chips going to break out of the gearhead market and into the green market?

The decline in auto sales over the past few years creates even more opportunity for such a product to thrive in the market. Aftermarket companies such as Hypertech could reach those consumers who want to go green but can’t afford a $26,000 or even a $20,000 hybrid. Sure, ponying up for the Hybrid is the most eco-friendly and will give you more eco-bragging ammo, but let’s face it, people are strapped for cash and not in the new car market, sales volumes over the past few years have shown that. Spending $3,000-$4,000 more for a hybrid, that gets 10-12 more mpg, whereas an E-con Programmer is 1/10 the price increase opposed to buying a hybrid and saves 1/2 as much in fuel economy. Cheaper short-term, comprable long-term.

However, there are some barriers to entry dependant on the success of aftermarket chips. Installing a computer chip is in violation of most car’s warranties that disqualifies an eligibility for engine repair. This is a contractual agreement with the auto companies that aftermarket companies will struggle to overcome, given that the auto companies have tenfold the bargaining power.

So, maybe that is why aftermarket chips are not part of the mass market, there could be other reasons. They could just be slouches for marketers. Regardless, there is an opportunity for a company to introduce a product into the market that is aligned with current trends and nothing is being done about it. Tsk Tsk.

Ingenex Digital Marketing Welcomes Five Eco-Friendly Interns for Fall 2008

With gas prices soaring, it’s no wonder that many are seeking ways to cut commuting costs. Luckily for students and recent graduates interested in digital marketing, Ingenex Digital Marketing, located in Ann Arbor, MI, has tailored an internship to fit their specific needs.

The eco-friendly internship provides interns with the means to excel in today’s digital world, with a work schedule that prioritizes telecommuting over office time.

Ingenex Digital Marketing is a full-service interactive marketing company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is run by CEO, Derek Mehraban, a Michigan State advertising graduate. The company provides services in Interactive and web, search engine marketing, social media and much more. Ingenex recently launched an online profile management service called Social Harbor. Visit http://socialharbor.com for information.

Ingenex eco-friendly interns are learning digital marketing while working to expand the internship for 2009. “Our goal is to make the Eco-Friendly Internship accessible to more students and more universities via new technology.” Says Ingenex CEO Derek Mehraban. “We are looking for university partners right now, and we are starting with the Michigan State University Advertising program.”

Meet the Fall 2008 Eco-Friendly Team:

Jennifer Harrison is currently a fourth year advertising student at Michigan State University, with a specialization in Public Relations and an additional major in Mandarin Chinese.

Katie Hyzy recently received a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Denison University in Ohio. Over the summer, she completed a Marketing and P.R. Internship at Chicago-based start up company Green Market Fundraising.

Amanda Marandola is an advertising sophomore at Michigan State University. She is extremely interested in the fields of advertising and marketing, and she would like to specialize in Public Relations.

Pedro Martin is a recent MBA International Business graduate of EMU. With a background in Marketing and Management, he hopes to achieve a position that will allow him to employ his marketing skills in an international business setting.

Nick Meador finished the masters of journalism program at MSU this summer, while participating in an editorial internship at Traverse Magazine. He’s seeking a career combining writing/editing, web design/development, and digital marketing.

The Ingenex eco-friendly digital marketing internship is the first of its kind. The growing demand for digital skills in corporate America is undeniable. Ingenex interns are preparing to be leaders in the digital economy and the eco-friendly future of our country. To learn about the eco-friendly internship visit: www.ecofriendlyinternship.com and www.ingenexdigital.com.

Going Green at Work

Although Ingenex Digital Marketing already supports an eco-friendly lifestyle, there are always ways to continually update the ways in which we promote an environmentally friendly lifestyle. It is estimated that by 2050 the population will increase to over 9 billion people. This means that if the world’s natural resources were evenly distributed, people in 2050 would only have about 25% of the resources that people living 100 years prior to that year did. The lifestyle that we live, both at home and at work, contribute to this fast decrease in resources. We have the power to control how the environment is affected.

 Blue tooth advertising, also known as proximity advertising, is a great way to prevent littering and wasting paper. Using a device called an Ad-Pod, a company can actively find every mobile phone user within a 100 meter radius that has Bluetooth on their phone. The Ad-Pod will then contact the person with a message that says “would you like to receive a message from Ingenex.” If the person says yes it will then digitally send them a flyer or video to their phone about Ingenex. All you have to do is upload an image and it will send out your message 24/7. This product originated in the United Kingdom. It is expanding its market and is on its way to becoming used more frequently in the future. It’s quick, easy and extremely environmentally friendly. These flyers don’t kill trees, waste paper or promote littering.

Display Screen technology also promotes being eco-friendly. Display Screen technology constantly loops a video of the company’s services or offers. This removes the need for paper flyers and keeps people more interested in whatever message the company is trying to deliver. The environment is being preserved while the consumer’s entertainment level is satisfied.

In addition to these environmentally friendly practices, there are also everyday things that can be done. Some may not seem like much, but they will pay off in the long run. Something as simple as evaluating how much paper you use versus how much paper you really need to be using. Printing out endless sheets of paper is not always the most environmentally friendly option.  Try only printing paper documents when necessary. Even when it comes to signing off on projects or documents, that can still be done electronically. Computer software providers such as Adobe have created programs for Digital Signature recording and security.  Also, if possible, try printing papers two-sided as opposed to one-sided. Although this may not always be the ideal option, even partial implementation will save a lot of trees.

For every ton of paper that is recycled, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, and enough electricity to power an average house for six months is saved.  You can run a television for six hours on the amount of electricity that is saved by recycling one aluminum can. By recycling one glass bottle you can save enough electricity to power a 100-watt bulb for four hours.  With all this evidence supporting recycling, how could we not embace this opportunity to preserve our resources? We need to be more committed to  recycling in order to preserve the environment.  Also, instead of receiving junk mail every week and just continually throwing it in the garbage, take yourself off the junk mail providers list so the paper you would normally waste can actually serve a purpose instead of feeding your garbage can.  There are countless ways to be environmentally friendly, our job is to find those ways, use them in our daily lives and promote them at work and around others.