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May 15, 2008

carrot mob

idea: organized consumer behavior = platform for change :: a great little movie and an even better idea :: click below to watch ::


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Comments (22)

I forgot to panic buy carrots today dammit!

Posted by: Chris Jackson at May 15, 2008 4:19 PM

amazing. it makes me hopeful.
and makes me want to do stuff instead of just thinking about it (proactive rather than navel gazing).

Posted by: ingrid at May 15, 2008 4:25 PM

This won't work on a large scale. Carrot mob is creating a winner takes all bidding system of consumer spending. The question is what incentives do the companies have to compete fairly? Essentially it becomes a which company markets the best not what company actually does the best. There are some tough questions that don't have a clear answer.

How would the company that carrotmob shops at be selected?

Would it be relative change or total amount of change a company does that determines whether or not it is selected by carrot mob?

What are the incentives for companies that cant possibly win to compete?

Posted by: luke at May 15, 2008 4:43 PM

I don't think this will work on a large scale. Carrot mob is creating a winner takes all bidding system of consumer spending. The question is what incentives do the companies have to compete fairly? Essentially it becomes a which company markets the best not what company actually does the best. There are some tough questions that don't have a clear answer.

How would the company that carrotmob shops at be selected?

Would it be relative change or total amount of change a company does that determines whether or not it is selected by carrot mob?

What are the incentives for companies that cant possibly win to compete?

Posted by: luke at May 15, 2008 4:46 PM

It seems like a cool idea, but how is this different from collecting a bunch of donations and then using that money to write a cheque for a greening company?

Instead of asking people to put money towards a donation, you're asking people to put money towards purchases.

In fact, wouldn't it be more convenient in cheque form? That way, the company wouldn't have to worry about restocking and re-ordering more product afterwards.

Ah well, either way, it's cool that so many people came together for this cause. I'm sure the publicity was great for the shop too!

Posted by: Yan at May 15, 2008 5:38 PM

Fabulous! No one loses.

Corporations will do anyuthing for money! Cage-free toothbrushes!

Posted by: Flood at May 15, 2008 5:57 PM

Fabulous! No one loses.

Corporations will do anything for money! Cage-free toothbrushes!

Posted by: Flood at May 15, 2008 5:57 PM

Very cool idea, and it looks like it might work.

Hope they recycled all those fake dollars.

Posted by: Sarah at May 15, 2008 6:57 PM

Novel idea, consumers doing what politicians and city workers get paid to do and aren't. Basically they are doing what Walmart does only for a different type of currency. If they can keep the momentum going enough to eventually take personhood away from corporations they won't have to reward businesses for what businesses should be doing anyway.

Posted by: mearconsumer at May 15, 2008 7:58 PM

Great Idea!!! But...;(
How many bags plastic/paper were wasted??? energy saving by energy wasting???
Long live The Carrotmob!
All I wish for is a little more Awareness 2 All of Us living on this beautiful planet.

Posted by: Marie at May 15, 2008 8:01 PM

Eco-friendly Day Care Center

Posted by: obob at May 15, 2008 8:08 PM

This reminds me of something I heard about on NPR. Large groups of people in China would gather together at big stores and say "This giant group of people will shop at your store today if you are willing to give us all discounts."

So the store decides to give everyone discounts and still pulls in a lot of cash.

This is almost the same idea, except the benefactors are the environment and the store owner. The only thing the consumer gets (other than cheetos) is the satisfaction of knowing they contributed–and they're doing it anyway. What a great idea.

Posted by: Andrew Tolson at May 16, 2008 1:53 AM

This is the best thing since freecycle.

Posted by: killerisation at May 16, 2008 3:57 AM

Great initiative! I like it.

Posted by: George Black at May 16, 2008 1:37 PM

Brilliant!!

Posted by: Xarr at May 16, 2008 4:10 PM


I know the point was to show that we can make changes happen, but I wonder how long it will take for the energy saved by the store to balance out the energy used by all those people to get to the store.

Posted by: flex at May 16, 2008 11:36 PM

This planet is a little gem and humans need to stop being so greedy and irresponsible with it and its resources. So, part of the solution might be to: cut out the unneccesary spending, live on less, be economical with your bodily energy, share what you have, put garbage in the designated areas, come up with cleaner technologies, push for the development of de-salination stations to make the world's oceans potable and make sure everything artificially produced can be recycled, for starters. First, we need to clean up and repair the damage that has already happened. Then, we need to maintain a healthy balance. But we must first start with ourselves and what surrounds us. So go out and pick up a bag full of garbage along your street. And spread positive energy among the folk, because negative energy goes nowhere.

Posted by: M.J. Devlin at May 17, 2008 10:13 AM

This worked in the sense that that store is now 22% of $9,000+ more environmentally friendly than it was before. That's a great success!

But I just wonder how sustainable it is. You're not going to be able to get together a huge group like that for EVERY store that you want to improve. (Please - prove me wrong!)

But for me the largest problem is this: the other, non-environmentally friendly stores still exist. And some of them will be more convenient for some people than the environmentally-friendly store. The positive changes within the store have already been made, and those will always be there helping the environment (or, not hurting it). But what abut during the week? Has that store agreed to use 22% of ALL of its profits to make environmentally-friendly changes? If so, then it's not going to help the store increase profits. If every store is making the same during the week, but this one has 22% earmarked for specific projects, they're 22% less profitable (in a purely monetary sense) than the other stores.

Long-term change would be better. But how do you get consumers (who are lazy) to walk two extra blocks to buy cheez whiz at the store that uses 22% of that cheez whiz profit for environmentally-friendly changes?

Some other good points were raised above, like how do you tell everyone "this is the store / business / company / brand we're going to support!" and get them to agree? There are so many different ways to help the environment. What if one toothbrush company agrees to put up solar panels, and another one agrees to create completely recyclable toothbrushes? Which one impacts the environment more? And it doesn't necessarily matter which one impacts the environment more, if (as also previously mentioned) the marketing for one is far superior to the other, or some people just "feel" better about solar panels. And if it gets too confusing, people will give up and just buy the first toothbrush they see.

I don't mean to poop on your parade - in fact I think it's an amazing idea that was remarkably well-executed. I think it's worth taking many second looks at.

Posted by: SquishyKitten at May 17, 2008 11:47 AM

If this is adopted to a large scale will it force one corperation into a monopoly simply because they are the only corperation making money? Is that a good thing?

Posted by: Kenneth at May 17, 2008 11:59 AM

To extend the toothbrush metaphor - if we really want to reward the most ecologically sound toothbrush maker, should we reward the company that's been doing it wrong for years for making a small change, or should we reward a company thats been doing it right all along - like
http://www.recycline.com/toothbrush.html
If we all want to buy an eco-friendly toothbrush to use our spending power to change the world, we can do it right now. We all buy recycled and recyclable toothbrushes, a company doing it right makes lots of money and can invest in doing more while companies doing it wrong lose money and will make a change to win back that business. Let's do it now.

Posted by: Gus at May 18, 2008 12:47 PM

Chicken pot pie! Its been a while!

Posted by: Kevin at May 20, 2008 4:59 PM

awesome movie, awesome concept. i just wish i'd moved to the bay area a month sooner than i did so i could've participated in the event haha

Posted by: jenn at July 1, 2008 6:41 PM

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