This guest post was written by Brent Schulkin, founder of CarrotMob.
Carrotmob is a new way for people to influence businesses to make them more sustainable. Instead of organizing boycotts, we offer to spend money as a group to support a business if the business agrees to make an improvement that we care about. Everyone wins – businesses get money and we achieve unprecedented social impact. And it works.
We just launched our first ever, global climate campaign with a larger business. The campaign is actually with Thanksgiving Coffee Company, an artisan coffee roaster in Northern California. The family-run company buys coffee beans from small farms and cooperatives around the world, and already embrace cutting edge sustainability practices. But they are determined to become the first company to make their coffee as Earth friendly as possible by transporting their coffee beans by wind-powered shipping instead of using container ships fueled by oil.
Thanksgiving has agreed to embark on this journey if people buy $150,000 worth of coffee through the Carrotmob website (carrotmob.org/thanksgiving). The income they will generate from our campaign will prove that there is demand for sustainably-transported coffee.
I’m asking you to help make this vision a reality. All you have to do is buy this “extraordinary, luxurious coffee.” Nope, I didn’t make that up – it’s straight from Coffee Review. Though I can personally vouch that the coffee is DELICIOUS and like their tagline says it’s “Not just a cup, but a just cup” so you can feel good about your purchase.
Global shipping currently accounts for more than a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Since coffee is the most widely traded agricultural commodity in the world, the potential impact of this campaign is enormous. Small coffee companies have already transformed industry practices. For example, just look at the increase in Fair Trade sales over the past decade. A move by small coffee companies towards wind-powered shipping could be game-changing not only for the coffee industry, but other industries like chocolate, sugar and more.
If this campaign is successful, we’ll be able to change the climate practices of other large businesses. We would also love to work with 350 to design high-impact climate campaigns in the future. But that won’t happen unless we get enough people to buy this coffee right now and send a message. I appreciate the support, and we’d love to hear any of your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page.