Dust Off Your Carrot Costumes

September 28th, 2010 by Morganic Leave a reply »

The Wigg Party is proud to announce that the next incarnation of the global phenomenon known as the Carrotmob will be happening here in our own backyard at the Matching Half Cafe on October 23rd from 3-6 pm. During these hours, Matching Half will commit a whopping 200% of their profit to making their business practices more sustainable. Yes, you read correctly: 200%!

This should look familiar...

For those of you who are unaware, a Carrotmob is one of the most effective tactics for helping a local business become more sustainable. The idea is really pretty simple: local businesses, traditionally of one type (we chose cafes), bid against each other to win the mob of people who stand ready to descend on whichever business is willing to commit the largest percentage of their profit from a particular day to reinvest in their business to make it more sustainable (the mob is the “carrot” which entices each business to bid a higher percentage). Each business is free to decide what project they want to invest in – anything from energy efficiency to local food to waste diversion. When the bidding process is over and a winner has been chosen, the event goes down and the winning business has a significant chunk of money to use to bring their practices more in line with where they’re going to need to be going forward anyway.

Our bidding process was a lot of fun and a great way to get to know the owners of our local cafes. Because of the unusual weather patterns here in San Francisco, we put a bit of a self-imposed deadline on our process so that we would have enough time to promote and produce the event before our Indian Summer ran out. This meant that we didn’t get to squeeze out every last percentage from our bidding coffee shops, but no matter: we were still able to get our business to commit one of the highest percentages in the history of Carrotmob!

Try to imagine lots of happy people making a difference

The first bid to come in was Matching Half’s to the tune of 100% of profit, which they promised to use to buy a bike trailer (to transport food from a local farmers’ market), buy more local food (which can be more expensive), buy reusable food storage containers to limit their use of plastic wrap, and to purchase organic milk, which is significantly more expensive than non-organic. We were thrilled with the bid and eagerly shopped it around to the other cafes to see if anyone could beat it. We got one bite: Central Coffee came back with a bid of 200% to invest in a solar water heater for their roof! We love San Francisco! Back to Matching Half – can you beat this? They came up with the matching bid, and none too soon. We needed to decide the business so we could properly promote. In the end we went with Matching Half’s 200% bid for a couple reasons – we knew that the projects they promised to do were achievable from the funds generated by the event, something we weren’t sure about for the solar water heater. The other reason was that we just felt like they put a bit more thought into their bid and were willing to really analyze where they could make effective changes. Even though they just started their business within the last year with a really keen eye towards being sustainable, they didn’t come back to us with the tired reply that they “already do everything well.” They knew there would always be room to improve and it is really this spirit that won them the event.

So mark your calendars folks! October 23rd 3-6 pm. Not only is Matching Half taking every cent of profit from these hours to reinvest in their business, they’ll even provide the “Matching Half” to the tune of 200% of the profit! You didn’t really think we’d end the post without dropping that juicy pun, did you?


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