If you’ve never heard of a ‘Carrotmob’ before then you’ll belong with the rest of the 99.99999% of the human race that assume a Carrotmob is an intimidating gang of walking carrots (and for anyone else that grew up in the ’90s, no it’s not a cheap rip-off of this…)
Carrotmobs: no more sticks
No! Carrotmobs are much more exciting than a gang of lethal carrots of Italian origin could ever be. That’s because Carrotmobs are about being environmentally friendly. Now that I’ve got you barely contained with anticipation I’ll get to the point.
Carrotmobs are in essence the exact opposite of a boycott. So instead of not going to a store because you don’t like what they do, you go to a store because you like what they do. How they work is simple. A bunch of people, the organisers, will approach a series of stores with a simple offer: “if we get loads and loads of people to turn up to your store on this day how big a percentage of the profits would you commit towards making your store more environmentally friendly?”
The store that thinks this sounds like a good idea and makes the highest offer wins. The organisers tell their friends, “hey go buy stuff from here, we like them”, and then voila, the store uses some of the extra money to make their store more environmentally friendly. Perhaps they buy some insulation or special devices for fridges that reduce the energy consumption or improve their composting and so forth.
This is small scale stuff making small changes in local communities but the guys behind Carrotmob are ambitious. They envisage one day being in the position to influence big corporations like The Coca-Cola Company. Just picture it – an interlinked web of consumers the world over that can sway the decisions of corporations. Pepsi want to become more environmentally friendly? Great, we’ll buy Pepsi the world over and watch Coke regret not making the offer first.
Check this video out for a better explanation of what a carrotmob is.
Why is this great? Because it’s positive, it’s fun and it’s effective. It rewards good behaviour (that carrot reference, remember?) and entrepreneurship. It views businesses as partners, not as adversaries. It’s an innovative form of environmentalism that is needed now more than ever before.
Would it be surprising to think that 50 years from now, it’s Carrotmobs and not boycotts that will be the dominant form of organised consumerism? Let’s hope so.
For more information see http://www.carrotmob.org