Photo: Smudge 9000
We've heard about the Carrotmob in San Francisco. Kristin wrote that the organization uses the masses to bring about environmental changes in local businesses. Their first mob scene took place at a convenience store in the Mission District. The store chosen agrees to give a percentage of sales from the event to upgrading the store with green improvements. Now Carrotmob has made its way across the country to Charleston, S.C. where it already "mobbed" the Queen Street Grocery.Charleston's Carrotmob was established earlier this summer in the city and the group recently chose Queen Street Grocery, a famous landmark convenience store in downtown Charleston for its first mobbing. It all started a few months ago when the local chapter, contacted several locally owned coffee shops, corner markets, groceries, and bars to urge them to consider environmental sustainability efforts. Businesses were asked to determine a percentage of their one-day sales during a "mob sale" that they were willing to reinvest in their shops for energy efficiency through simple cost-effective retrofits just like in San Francisco. Queen Street Grocery won out and is the first business to take the plunge.
Queen Street Grocery Energy Waste
Queen Street grocery was spending about 40% more than it should have been on energy consumption. It's hard enough for small businesses like this one to survive and wasting that much money on nothing every month seems ridiculous. The first hurdle the store will take with the money made from the one day mobbing will be sealing the store's envelope and as result putting that 40 % of money saved into keeping this small business afloat. The mob has focused its attention on small businesses in the city rather than chains which is a good thing both for the business's survival and the planet. There used to be a corner store on every street in Charleston and today only a few have survived.
Collin brought up a really good point questioning whether the group generates enough to make a difference. While it remains to be determined my gut says that at least in a small community like Charleston, Carrotmob does something that's critically important for the city, it brings to together a community of green minded individuals in an area that is just now blossoming into the green movement. It helps small businesses that truly care about the future of the area to understand how they can take steps to green their business. In Charleston, where the effects of global climate change, pollution, and water quality are often seen first as a result the quality of the fishing, warming waters, and huge population spikes, people want change and awareness is key.