Power to the People: Green Mobs Take Hold


Mob mentality is being used to convince businesses to combat global warming. How? Through Carrotmob, a “reverse boycott” phenomenon taking hold worldwide.

According to their Web site, Carrotmob is “a network of consumers who buy products in order to reward businesses who are being socially responsible.” It uses consumer buying power as leverage to convince businesses to act more responsibly and to improve the way their business operates in relation to environmental impacts.

A good example is their first ever action, which happened in San Francisco (see the video below). Founder Brent Schulkin visited bottle stores in his neighborhood and asked them to pledge a certain amount of their daily takings to “greening” their business.

One store came in at 10 percent, then another at 15 percent and so on, until the amount reached a high of 22 percent. In order to reward the highest bidding shop, Schulkin sent out word for consumers to mob the store within a certain timeslot to buy whatever they would normally buy.

Hundreds of people turned up to the store and spent enough money to ensure that an entire overhaul to a more efficient lighting system could take place. The result? A satisfied store-owner, satisfied consumers and one small step towards environmental improvement.

This action occurred over a year ago and since then, more than 20 actions have taken place worldwide targeting different types of businesses and varying environmental issues.

The huge success of this experiment showed how a little action can have an amazing outcome, and was reward for Schulkin who had been frustrated in the past by the mixed results of more traditional activism methods – boycotts, rallies, protests and petitions.

The premise is simple. Businesses will do things for money and consumers need to spend money to acquire everyday necessities. Dangle the “carrot” of more money in front of a business, then ask consumers to gather and spend some cash, and it turns out the result is a phenomenon.

Article by Kate R. appearing courtesy of Celsias.



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