As ever I seem to be stumbling upon a lot of wonderful and exciting concepts and actions being taken for environmental change. Here are a few of the coolest….

Carrot Mob – consumer mobs for environmental change

Consumers have the power to make change. Carrot Mob located in San Francisco, CA, the brain child of Brent Schulkin is proving that by organizing consuming mobs for environmental change. They interview businesses and pick one that offers the most toward change. Then organize a large group of consumers to mob the store and buy something. The first mob in March 2008 called ‘We Make it Rain’ was a resounding success. The mob spent $9,276.00 at K & D Market in a couple of hours. The store committed to spend 22% of the money on greening their store with guidance from the San Francisco Energy Watch Program. And the local SF Food Bank received 366 pounds of food. Carrot Mob has taken off, is growing and has lots of great ideas for the future. The second mob of a Cafe in downtown is currently being organized. You can find out more at Facebook Carrot Mob.

A mob is also being planned in Kansas City at World of Spirits on October 21, 2008. This great new idea is expanding worldwide too. The UK has jumped on board. The first UK Carrot Mob took place September 16, 2008 in London at Redchurch bar. It was a resounding success. A second UK Carrot Mob called ‘Maddness in the Minimarket‘ event is planned for November 6, 2008. According to facebook all of Finland has jumped on board and 2 mobs are currently in the works. This is exciting… grass roots activism at its best! – Random acts of environmental kindness is a website dedicated to offering ideas and stories of people helping each other. They suggest the following ways we can help the environment…

Practice kindness towards the environment. Participate in beach or park cleanups. Reduce air pollution by carpooling, taking public transportation, biking, or walking. Recycle all aluminum, plastic, and paper materials. Cut down on the energy you use by lowering the heat and turning off lights and unused appliances. Learn more about solar energy. As gifts, give houseplants to teachers, friends, or coworkers. Plant a tree in your neighborhood. What a terrific website based on the concept of ‘Pay it Forward’. How cool is that!

Sheryl Crow singing in environmental change

Sheryl Crow, singer/song writer and environmental activist is singing about change. Her latest album Detours is her most out-spoken record to date. She says about the album, “the most honest record I’ve ever made. It’s about being forced to wake up.” Sheryl Crow Interview: Can "Detours" Help Pave the Way to a Better World? by Larry West. Sheryl says, "Although I hate that a movement can be inspired by fear, at least people are talking about it, talking about ways they can incorporate green living into their homes and workplaces. If the IPCC reports are right, then we’ll see a third of our species, counting man, become extinct, a thing of the past. It’s very worrisome, but I have to believe that there is hope and that we can incite a sense of urgency in everyone. Our farming community [in Tennessee] is trying to go wind and solar, to remove ourselves completely from the grid. If we’re successful, hopefully we can be an example to other communities of how they can come together, work as a community, and become part of the solution." Thanks for your great work Sheryl!

UK’s Big Green Challenge working together for change 

Big Green Challenge, the people-powered innovation prize from NESTA. The £1 million prize fund is designed to encourage and reward people who work together to develop new ways to save energy and lower CO2 emissions by 60% in their communities. 350 projects were entered, of them 10 finalists were selected. Each team of finalists were given £20,000 to develop their ideas further over the next year. Here is a list of the finalists.

Mirror News (12 September 2008) Big Green Challenge: Finalists up for £1million environmental prize. Nesta chief executive Jonathan Kestenbaum told the Mirror: "The fact that we had over 350 communities submitting strong ideas demonstrates there is the passion and knowledge across the UK to devise imaginative responses to climate change. "We are confident the 10 finalists will step up to the challenge of tackling the biggest single issue facing the planet." A very exciting contest can’t wait to read who the winners will be. Yahoo!

A few interesting environmental links:

People & Planet an online global resource for environmental issues and solutions and their impact on the peoples of the world.

E – the environmental magazine – online and print magazine which provides independent coverage on a wide range of environmental issues.

Grist, environmental news and commentary – “Grist: it’s gloom and doom with a sense of humor. So laugh now – or the planet gets it.” An online environmental magazine with a sense of humor and a little seriousness thrown in for good measure.

~Bonnee Klein Gilligan

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