If You Drink Coffee…If You Care About the Environment…
I’ve no idea know how many of you have heard of Carrotmob but its time you did. Carrotmob’s philosophy is:
There’s an old saying that there are two ways to make a donkey walk forward: Either offer a delicious carrot out in front of it, or hit its behind with a stick. Think of businesses as “donkeys” which people are trying to move. Traditional consumer advocacy uses a lot of “sticks,” such as protests, petitions, boycotts, and so on. We want to use the “carrot” instead. We believe that we can get businesses to make big positive changes by offering them lots of money in return. It’s a positive, win-win model. So that’s what the “carrot” means. The mob refers to the large group of consumers who come together to achieve shared goals.
It is an organization whose goals include: civil liberties, climate change, environment, food, fair trade, human rights, health/safety, jobs/workplace, local economy and social justice. They have a lot to say on all of these topics; why they chose them and what they include but a quick trip to the FAQ page on their site pretty much covers it.
Carrotmob is an organization that you join, mainly by giving them your email so that they can notify you of campaigns. Its free and has so far proven to be an interesting, as well as successful, social experiment. To date they have managed to stay afloat by donations and volunteer efforts but are beginning to explore potential revenue models. Their success stories so far are pretty impressive.
There have been over 200 campaigns in over 20 countries. The majority of the campaigns which have happened so far have focused on issues of sustainability and energy (ie: stores doing energy-efficiency retrofits). So far the #1 country in the world for Carrotmobs is Germany, followed by the US, and then Finland. Australia has done the most on a per capita basis, with Canada in the number 2 spot. Asia, Africa and South America have each had Carrotmob campaigns, but Antarctica is our weakest continent, with zero Carrotmob campaigns. Hey Antarctica! You do realize that being a continent comes with certain responsibilities, right? I mean, sorry for melting you, but it’s probably in your best interest to pull yourself together and start Carrotmobbing! UPDATE! Antarctica has responded!
“But what” you might ask, (not without reason) “has coffee to do with any of this” Today I am writing this article because they are conducting the biggest campaign yet. They have partnered with Thanksgiving Coffee, itself a socially conscious business, under the following contract: They will have the “mob” purchase $150,000, yes, one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, in eighteen days, and in return Thanksgiving Coffee will conduct an experiment to sail (wind power) its coffee beans from its suppliers, (all cooperative growers) directly to its harbor in Fort Bragg California.
If you are a Pagan who truly believes that something must be done for change and you yearn for a way to make a difference, here it is…and you get great coffee in return. Join Carrotmob today
at Carrotmob. While you are at it buy a bag or two of great coffee and support sustainable cooperatives, whose stories, by the way, are fascinating in themselves, while working at a sustainable solution to the massive human carbon footprint thereby saving three birds without throwing a single stone.
I am so curious to see whether this massive social endeavor will work. Just as a side note, I received the two bags of coffee that I ordered in a day and a half.
Warning: sticker shock may apply.