MORE THAN SQUIGGLY LIGHT BULBS: LOCAL BUSINESS STEWARDS ENERGY EFFICIENCY MOVEMENT
Fundraising for your favorite causes in San Luis Obispo has taken a whole different turn. The heyday of mobs, rallies, protests, and critical mass is arriving at a coordinated, peaceful, and smarter place, working for mutual interest and win-win outcomes. Spike’s Pub in San Luis Obispo is designating one income-earning day in the month of October to finance the energy efficiency needs of their building. Why should you care? Because their international beer selection is good and the potato skin selection is even better. Well, that and they’re a great local business with community values.
With the help of the Empower Poly Coalition, the environmental and community advocacy club from Cal Poly, a Carrotmob will take over the downtown pub on Saturday, October 13th. The Carrotmob (essentially a large group of consumers who come together to achieve shared goals), will support Spike’s investment in energy savings recommendations to drastically reduce utility use and subsequent cost, simply by doing what they like doing, having a good meal!
Spike’s Pub owner Andrea Miller is excited about the idea’s potential. “I think this is great way to get people introduced or reintroduced to Spike's! It’s also a way to find more ways to reduce our energy use, adding to the benefits of our new, tankless water heater installed last month,” said Miller.
The Carrotmob is one of many events taking place in October as part of San Luis Obispo’s local version of National Energy Awareness Month. Several local agencies and non-profits are hosting events for the community: from green car shows to The Energy Event, a conglomeration of speaker sessions and mobile workshops on October 20th at the San Luis
Obispo Veteran’s Hall. A full calendar is online at usgbcc4.org/energy2012.
The crux behind the fundraising challenge is how to make giving money to causes a simple part of business, without squeezing your wallet. That’s where the Carrotmob shows up, working on the premise that businesses can do well for themselves and do good for local causes. Spikes will have an energy audit completed prior to the Carrotmob to identify the best opportunities for energy savings.
The term deconstructs the word “mob,” historically used to describe disorderly conduct. Conversely, Carrotmobs are highly organized events led specifically by community members in support of a business. Community members coordinate with business owners to spend their money to support a business, and in return the business agrees to take an action that the people care about. Theoretically, Carrotmobs believe people can have more influence on businesses by giving them a positive incentive to change. It’s a goofy name, but the “carrot” is the financial support of the community.
"The Carrotmob movement is stronger than it has ever been, and growing fast. We've now had more than 250 campaigns in over 20 countries around the world. From students in Victoria, Canada mobbing a restaurant to fund energy efficient lighting upgrades, to New Zealand mobbers buying coffee to have solar panels installed on a farm in Papua New Guinea, and more. People have been voting with their money to incentivize businesses to become more sustainable. And it’s working," said Carrotmob Founder, Brent Schulkin.
A series of events are taking place throughout San Luis Obispo County during the month of October, deemed Energy Awareness Month 2012 by local jurisdictions and the County Board of Supervisors. Events cover topics such as energy efficient design, net zero construction, alternative fuels and technology, and residential and business solutions for energy efficiency. Be sure to sign up for The Energy Event, Saturday, October 20th at San Luis
Obispo Veteran’s Hall. This culminating event will garner local energy leaders and community members, and includes lunch. Mobile workshops to highlight energy efficient practices around the community will also be offered. Pre-registration is required. To register and for more information and a complete events calendar, visit www.usgbcc4.org/energy2012 or contact the San Luis Obispo County Energy Collaborative at 805-781-5623.