The Community Environmental Council will “carrot mob” Coffee Cat on Anacapa Street in downtown Santa Barbara from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday in an effort to promote local business and environmental practices.
A carrot mob is an organized event in which people volunteer to pack a local business with customers and significantly boost sales for one day in exchange for the featured business’ promise to dedicate all proceeds to sustainable improvements for their venue. Following the council’s inaugural mob of McConnell’s Ice Cream shop in October 2010, Saturday’s event will be the second CEC-sponsored mob and aims to raise $2,000 to update the cafe.
According to CEC’s Energy Program associate Marina Kasa, the group chose Coffee Cat for its dedication to environmental business practices, such as giving discounts to customers who bring reusable cups.
“Coffee Cat was one of the first businesses to begin working with the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara Country and played a role in helping to develop a restaurant checklist for the program,” Kasa said. “They use recyclable cups and dine-in silverware and plates, eliminate Styrofoam and they participate in the composting program.”
Founded in 1970, the CEC is a community-based organization working to develop Santa Barbara into a clean energy community. The association has adapted its initial goals and mission to focus on reducing fossil fuel use, creating jobs, saving money and strengthening the economy.
CEC Online Marketing Coordinator Michelle Kitson said carrot mobs support local green businesses and inspire other franchises to upgrade their operations.
The local coffee store is a small franchise with limited revenue to finance environmentally friendly upgrades.
According to owner Krista Fritzen, the event could provide the funds necessary to retrofit the store’s lighting and make other energy-efficient renovations.
Additionally, Kasa said the carrot mob will be beneficial for the whole community.
“One of CEC’s big pushes is in increasing efficient use of energy,” Kasa said. “The upcoming carrot mob at Coffee Cat will reduce energy consumption by 30 percent, thereby decreasing the amount of fossil fuels used to create that energy. This year’s carrot mob is a great way to help a business go green by reducing energy use and consumption of fossil fuels.”