Want to run a Carrotmob?

If you are inspired to run a Carrotmob – we say join the efforts of Carrotmob Melbourne and do it! Have a chat to your local pub, milkbar or café and see if they’re interested. Get in contact with us and we’ll pass on our learnings and mentor you through the process. Join the world-wide Carrotmob movement that started in San Francisco and has seen 250 Carrotmob campaigns across 20 countries.

Think of Carrotmob as the positive protest of the future that actually creates change. You spend your money on stuff you would’ve bought anyway – a coffee, some groceries; and in return a business pledges to do ‘something good’. Often it’s an environmental improvement, it could be donating leftover food to the homeless, whatever good the business can commit to.

The original Carrotmob Melbourne team has moved on to other things – including environmental consultancy, a move to Canberra and drumming trips to Africa and Sri Lanka. But if you are interested in running your own, get in touch.

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4 years on – how you helped make a greener Melbourne

Business 1: Albion Budget Supermarket

It’s been nearly 4 years since the mobbing of the Albion Budget Supermarket. We recently dropped by to say hi to owners Medhat and Sana Ghaly.

Medhat and Sana immigrated from Egypt 34 years ago. Medhat started his life in Australia teaching French to children in Horsham and moved to Melbourne to complete a Masters at Melbourne Uni.

Nearing retirement, Medhat and Sana decided to purchase a modest grocery store on the corner of Moreland Road and Albion Street in Brunswick West. After 11 years, Medhat and Sana have become well known to the locals. While we were there nearly every person who entered the store was greeted on a first name basis with a friendly hello and some cheeky humour from Medhat!

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Medhat with one of his energy efficient lights.

The mob

Their Carrotmob commitment was to improve their energy efficiency. There were 100 shoppers at the Carrotmob event in 2010 helping to raise $700. Medhat and Sana decided to double their commitment so they could update all 39 of their shop’s light globes.

The outcome

The lights are still shining brightly, which means savings of approximately 2.48 tonnes of Co2 annually over the last four years. This equates to approximately four cars off the road over that time.

Medhat and Sana have also got into the spirit of Carrotmob at home, recently installing solar panels for their home which completely provide for their home energy usage!

Business 2: Café Lua

Over the three and a half years since Cafe Lua was mobbed Angus Giles, his family and friendly crew have managed to create a local gem in Carlton. They provide a cosy atmosphere, creative menu and good coffee. They are now looking to sell and move onto something different, but have ensured they are leaving behind a well-run and environmentally friendly café.

The mob

In June 2012 more than 600 people voted for Café Lua to be mobbed. Already environmentally conscious and taking action to reduce the store’s impact Angus set his sights high with Carrotmob – could we raise enough for solar panels?

The outcome

The cafe decided on a Carrotmob week of green coffees where it committed 50 cents of every coffee sold to the cause. $1176 was raised, which unfortunately was not enough for solar panels. Instead the money was put towards replacing the ancient, energy sucking air-conditioning unit!

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Angus and the new energy efficient air conditioner

The café also installed more louvre windows to allow heat generated from the coffee machine to escape at night. “We’re saving about 50% on air-conditioning”, says Cafe Lua owner, Angus Giles, “and that means a benefit for the environment. It wouldn’t have happened without the support from Carrotmob and the City of Melbourne.”

How much did we raise? And what should we spend it on?

After a week of caffeine hits, the mob raised $1176. That’s over 200o coffees, an impressive effort. It isn’t quite enough for solar panels so instead Cafe Lua is talking to the City of Melbourne about finding another environmental initiative they can spend it on.

They’re also giving us the opportunity to give them some suggestions on their Facebook page. If you have an idea let them know.

We like the idea from Brett ‘more dudes in carrot suits’ but you might be able to come up with something with a bit more environmental impact.

 

 

Buy a cup of coffee, get some solar power

All next week your daily caffeine fix can go towards solar panels for a local cafe.

Cafe Lua won the mob with over 50% of the 1200 plus online votes. To see the online pledge and the other businesses competing visit the City of Melbourne website. This Carrotmob is the first mob run in conjunction with the City of Melbourne

From compost to solar power
Café Lua, a small happening place of deliciousness, is very committed to reducing their environmental impact. They’ve undertaken a range of initiatives including switching to compostable and reusable coffee cups, installing efficient lighting and water faucets, offering used coffee grounds for compost and installing leavers on windows to encourage natural air flow.

Café Lua now wants to take their sustainability leadership to a whole new level in the Carlton business community by installing solar power.  50 cents from every cup of coffee sold from 25th to 29th June will be put towards solar panels.

Join us
To be part of the Carrotmob and support this initiative simply rock up and buy a coffee/ssss from Cafe Lua during the week of 25th – 29th June (on average they sell 1800 coffees a week! let’s smash it!). The week long event will culminate in a Carrotmob celebration on the Friday from 10am – 12pm!

If you’re planning to show up let us know on the Carrotmob website.

Vote now for Carlton carrotmob

Voting is now open for Carrotmob Carlton. Check out the videos on the Carlton Community website and cast your vote now! Voting closes on Monday 11th June so you don’t have much time to choose your favourite.

Next mob to descend on Carlton, don’t miss your chance to vote

Save the date of June 30, a diverse Carrotmob is due to hit the streets of Carlton.

This time around Carrotmob Melbourne has paired with the City of Melbourne’s Eco Carlton program.

The City of Melbourne is already working with five businesses to find out what positive environmental changes they can make to their business.

Businesses being assessed include:

In the coming months we’ll be showcasing each business and their commitment to change.  Make sure you’re following our blog, Twitter or Facebook page so you can vote on who wins the mob.

What makes you spend your dollar?

Everyone has a friend who has to have the latest gadget or bag before everyone else. You may even be the person who loves to boast about how much of a bargain your latest pair of shoes or cup of coffee was. Everyone is motivated to shop for different reasons.

But the backlash against the latest or the cheapest is growing.  The latest is Cashmobs where a mob of consumers purchase full-price goods to support a business in need. It’s in direct response to Groupon where often the consumer deal comes at the expense of the small business.

Carrotmob is all about making consumption about more than just buying stuff. So this week we’re asking our mobsters, what would motivate you to change your shopping habits?

Got some questions on greening your business? Hear from the experts

Businesses can find out about programs and products to save money, water and power at next week’s Greening for Growth forum.

Hear from Current Consulting, Pure Organic Grocer and CitiPower Port Phillip Business Excellence Award winners’ Kosdown and Daisy Dry Cleaning about what they’ve done to make their business more sustainable.

You can also talk to:

Carrotmob (Helen and Ashlee) will also be there to talk about how you can get a mob of customers.

The event is held by The City of Port Phillip and Small Business Victoria.

Save time, save money and save the environment

Time: Monday 27 February, 5.30-7.30pm

Place: Port Melbourne Town hall auditorium, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

Please RSVP for catering purposes (light refreshments provided) by emailing admin@portphillipbusiness.com.au or phoning 9209 6777.

Hot trends 2012 : Eco lazy

Savvy environmentalists have never had it easier. From washing less to shopping local (or not shopping at all), there are more opportunities than ever for consumers to display their green credentials while barely lifting a finger.

Check out some manifestations of the eco-lazy phenomenon:

The great unwashed

Melbourne Uni researcher Tulia Jack ran an experiment with a group of everyday people last year to prove we don’t need to wash our clothes as often as we do. The control group of 30 commited to not washing their jeans for three months.  Results have just been released showing half wanted to continue wearing and not washing the jeans, while nobody suffered any negative social impacts.

A recently produced calculator tells you whether you’re environmentally under or overweight when it comes to your clothing. It not only factors in purchases but also how often you wash and iron them.

 Slacktastic

Why go to the effort of scouring packed shopping malls for a new outfit when you can hang out at home? Buy nothing new October manages to make doing nothing an exercise in consciousness.

Shoptivism

Small Business Saturday was held in the US last August to boost the local economy and create jobs. Nearly 3 million people liked the Facebook page and 10,000 people committed to shopping small in 2012.

In a global economy where the exploitation of third-world labor is becoming the norm rather than the exception, the stories behind the shop are becoming more important than ever. Businesses like The Social Studio in Collingwood are gathering customers by training young refugees in fashion design and using eco-friendly materials.

Squatting Supermarkets in Italy created an art installation/activism where iphone apps displayed the eco-credentials of each product as well as sounds, images and voices creating a relationship with the producers. There are also plenty of apps you can download to make sure your purchases have a positive impact.

And of course there’s Carrotmob, influencing positive change by going to the shops and buying stuff as a group.

So forget about the compost bin, the solar panels and the donations to charity as we show you how to be eco-friendly the eco-lazy way this year.

Using pester power for good not evil this Christmas

Like every little girl in the ‘80s I really wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid as a child. I never got one – a cheap knockoff called a cauliflower kid was the closest I ever got.

My parents seemed immune to ‘pester power’ until we all got a bit older. A few years ago my sister decided we should have a completely fair trade Easter. To start with it was just the easter eggs the kids handed out that were fair trade. But eventually even my parents got on board (although I’m still waiting for the year when my mum doesn’t feel the need to mention how much more expensive it is).

Research from Victoria University that came out a couple of months ago suggests that my family’s experience is pretty average. In a survey of 400 Melbourne families Victoria University researcher Dr Torgeir Watne found parents accepted their children as experts in sustainability and would choose products such as organic food, chemical-free cleaning products and energy-saving light bulbs based on their opinion.

“When the family perceived the child to be knowledgeable, parents were happy to cede decision-making power on the subject to their children, in a similar way to how parents often take their children’s advice on technology,” Dr Watne said.

Carrotmob is taking a break over January for some lazy beach times but we have some plans cooking for a bigger and better new year.

In the meantime we’ll be purchasing plenty of local, fair trade, sustainably-made goodies for our loved ones. And if the research is anything to go by, we’ll be receiving some too.