Using buying power to make businesses greener - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Using buying power to make businesses greener

By Hatzel Vela  bio | email | twitter

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's a different approach to making businesses greener.

The idea is simple: get enough people to spend cash at one store and then use part of the profits to help the store go green.

It's called Carrotmob and it started in San Francisco, but the idea has spread to other cities, including Charleston.

Queen Street Grocery, which is on the corner of Logan and Queen Streets, was picked as the first official store where the event will take place.

The locally-owned neighborhood store is in a centuries-old building and owners use decades-old equipment to refrigerate their goods.

"The compressor puts out so much heat because there are people coming in and out of the cooler all day," said Mary Wutz, store co-owner.

Wutz and Hank Weed have been running the store for six months. Energy costs are almost twice as much as their rent, Wutz said.

"Queen Street Grocery just demonstrated they were willing to go above and beyond," said Jason Cronen, who added the store, was chosen out of 15 applicants.

Cronen started Charleston Green Drinks, the organization planning Carrotmob, an event he said has worked in other cities because of the bad economy and people looking to save money.

"It was something that really struck a chord in my heart. And I said, 'it's a great idea; you can get customers in here. Everybody wins,'" said Wutz.

"It doesn't matter if you're conservative, or you're liberal or you're Republican or Democrat or Independent. This is about making those small changes in your personal life and in the life cycle of your business to benefit the country," Cronen said.

If you go to the store on Saturday, April 11th, 33% of the profits will be used to go to retrofit the store.

Owners are hoping if the customers show up and the money rolls in, their decades-old coolers may be a thing of the past.

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