San Francisco, center of the CarrotMob phenomenon (which has spread to Europe and beyond), is now the birthplace of a new consumer tool to aid businesses in steps to greening. Brainchild of Arul Velan and Dinesh Thirupvanam, Viv's physical embodiment is a small bar code sticker that you affix to your credit card and show to participating retailers whenever you shop. On Viv's web site, Dinesh explains that he can't give up cushy white toilet paper, so he felt he'd better give back with Viv. How, you wonder can this little sticker help do good?Small changes add up
Well, Viv is based on the idea that businesses will go green more quickly and easily if consumers really show their love and appreciation. That's Carrotmob's original concept as well, and it has worked at dozens of locations as an organized group of people has showed up at an establishment and shopped their hearts out (hopefully for stuff they really needed). Based pre-arranged agreement, the lucky business then used a percentage of proceeds as investment cash for improvements.
Viv lets consumers' visit at participating retailers work toward those changes each time they shop. Businesses agree on a greening plan with Viv and then pick a number for how many transactions (usually 25 or 50) are needed before a first step gets underway.
Thus far, more than 60 SF businesses have signed on to the Viv scheme. Like with Carrotmob, the beauty of Viv is its ability to forge a positive bond between sellers, buyers, and environmental progress. The most popular choices for greening actions include switching to CFLs, changing to all biodegradable cleaners, and employing a composting program.
If it grows, hopefully Viv will have the power to get businesses to start competing with each other to innovate on their own to greener solutions. Viv has plans to move beyond SF, but I think it might be just as well for other entrepreneurs to take a Viv-like infrastructure to other cities - of course they'll also have to figure out how to make it economically sustainable! Via: Triple Pundit
P.S. Viv says stickers are made from biodegradable PLA.