Posted by: Nicole Telidis
Without looking very hard, you’ll notice that more and more people are united in the common causes of preserving the environment and fighting global warming, and it’s not just a fringe movement of “hippies” anymore.
Carrotmob (noun): A group of consumers who give incentive to companies to befriend the environment. By collectively agreeing to spend a lot of money at one store/company, on condition that the company becomes energy efficient/eliminates a harmful chemical/decreases their waste, etc, Carrotmob hopes to make a difference.
Check out Carrotmob’s video.
On a large scale, this could amount to a type of “Consumer’s Union.” There are many reasons that true collective action hasn’t and doesn’t work. However, the creators of Carrotmob do hit on a great idea which I will describe here as reverse marketing. This is a type of marketing where, as consumers, we tell the seller exactly what we expect from them: what type of product, what type of service, even what values they should embody. It’s happened before.
See fair trade coffee.
See sweatshop-free clothing.
See better gas mileage for cars after the oil shock in the 70’s and again right now.
So while it’s not practical to organize ongoing, large-scale (or even many small scale) versions of what Carrotmob is doing, stores will respond when there is a push from customers to be environmentally friendly.
In the effort to go green, Carrotmob are not the only one’s participating in community organization. Check out the Creative Citizen, an online community that shares practical tricks for conserving water and electricity and minimizing waste.
And if you don’t believe that it’s important to collaborate and band together, and if you don’t believe that a common cause exists, let me remind you that North Pole is ice-free this summer