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Archive for May, 2010

Being Self Reliant

When we first moved into our current offices almost three years ago, one of the first things we did was upgrade the insulation where it was skimpy and actually install insulation in the video studio which had none at all. How did we know there was a problem with either heat or cold? I asked the utility company for recently paid bills and almost fainted when I saw the monthly statements of the former company.

The week we insulated was similar to this week, a heat wave engulfed Bucks County and to make matters worse, the upstairs air conditioner quit. My those were a hard few days. The video studio was torn apart, all of us working upstairs had to move to the main floor. But clients never knew anything was amiss. We carried on.

One of the important strategies of running a business is having plans in place that kick in case of problems. Remember last winter when Washington DC closed down for four days because of the horrible blizzards? That cost around a half billion dollars according to the experts.

I’m not comparing our small business to the government, but we too would suffer if there were a sudden, major disruption. Living and working in bucolic Bucks County, we cannot even imagine what the people in the Gulf States are going through with the oil spill. Watching the anxiety on their faces and listening to their anger gives one pause. What would we do if we were impacted that way?

I don’t mean to sound like Henny Penny (the sky is not falling), but we should be proactive enough to have a plan that would protect our many clients, have strategies in place that would prevent loss productivity. Good planning is an essential part of good business.

Meanwhile, we pray that politics and economics stop clashing in the worst natural disaster in our country and that all the experts stop bickering and work together to save some of America’s most precious resources.

Entry by: elizabeth

The WALL-E Scenario

We finally caved in yesterday at home and turned on the air conditioning, seeing as the temperatures have started hitting the 90s. I used the air conditioning on my drive home as well and I’ve also felt it kicking on in the DDA building this week too. Temperatures can get really high in the heatwaves and this heat can be deadly for those with poor home ventilation and no air conditioning. While air conditioning is a modern convenience, I wonder if we would even need it if we hadn’t invented and started relying on so many other modern conveniences. Maybe we’d be fine with relaxing in the shade with a hand fan. Electricity, cars, trains, planes, modern meat processing, etc. are all modern conveniences that have also had a large effect on the planet because they are all in one way or another contributing significant CO2 levels to the atmosphere. Unsightly smog, poorer breathing, quality of air, increased asthma rates, and higher temperatures are all side effects of these conveniences.

The sad truth though is that it is incredibly difficult to thrive in our society without using these conveniences. Most people have to travel many miles to get to work and couldn’t make it by bike or walking and still have time in the day to sleep. It’s a problem that people are somewhat taking more note of as of recent years. The whole “green” fad  has taken hold and hopefully it sticks around so that our environment doesn’t get into too much disrepair like the somewhat frightening vision of Earth in the future depicted in WALL-E. WALL-E showed what convenience, consumerism, and waste can do to our people and to the Earth. We saw an Earth full of trash with no plant life left and plump humans living on a spaceship being carted around by little floating scooter things with their faces glued to screens. No movement was needed from them and robots did all the work.

Fortunately some things seem to be taking place to reverse the negative trends. Electric cars are in full development and their adoption rate is ever increasing. Energy-efficient LED light bulbs are coming down in price and will soon be very attractive for consumers to purchase. Organic and local farming is getting a resurgence. More businesses toting their green practices means more saving across the board, and as long as consumers want it, the businesses will do it. So things are looking up and we should hopefully avoid the desolate Earth full of garbage that WALL-E showed. I still think the ever-increasing dependence on technology and gadgets like computers, iPads, and iPhones could still lead future humanity into a WALL-E like state. I mean we did recently invent the Segway to replace walking. That’s pretty lazy.

At DDA, we’d like to consider ourselves a green advertising agency. Our 4-day work week saves on carbon emissions from cars with less trips needed along with lower heating and cooling needs. We have environmentally-friendly cleaning products in the kitchen.  Our emails about website design, custom programming, videography, and whatever else have reminders to think if you really need a hard copy before printing it out to encourage less paper use. We added insulation to the new building to lessen heating and cooling needs as well. We recycle our bottles and soda cans everyday. So we are doing our part to avoid the WALL-E scenario of Earth and you should too.

Entry by: vinnie

Just Remember

First, I before I go on and on about my weekend plans, I just want to write that we should not forget what this holiday is really about, and for those who need a refresher, this should help. I’ll admit something that I usually like to keep as a locked secret, I was in marching band throughout high school. Every year, we played a concert on Memorial Day, followed by a parade to the downtown center with the local veterans. One year, we did this in Washington D.C. For me, it was one of the few highlights of being in band. I teared up every year.

Now to the weekend, as we have the last two years, we’re going to our friend’s organic sustainable farm in Central New York. I’m excited for many reasons, but mainly for the peace and calm it usually brings. I could really use some relaxing and this will definitely help. Before everyone at DDA heads off though, we have some work to do, including finishing up the website for AppleSavvy, our new division that offers iPad and iPhone friendly conversion and development services, along with the rest of our search engine marketing (SEM), video production, website development, custom programming, and animation work.

So everyone’s sure to work extra hard today in anticipation of the extra day off.

Entry by: toni

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