Thursday, 03 April 2014 18:36
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
— Carl Sagan
By Joe Romano,
On Dec. 7, 1972, the people of Earth saw something that none of us had ever experienced in all of the hundreds of thousands of years we have been in existence. It was the first full-view image of Earth, taken from space. Quickly dubbed the "Big Blue Marble," the photo accomplished something that nothing prior had. It made concrete the concept that we were all citizens of a single place — our home, the Earth. Our petty squabbles with one another, our utter waste of resources, and our mass-production of countless toxins were instantly placed in an all-too-finite context.
There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
These were the words of an esteemed Ithacan, and a leading scientist of the era, Carl Sagan, who made it his life's work to educate Earthlings that we are global citizens, indeed, that we are citizens of the cosmos.
The photo of our Earth came at an important time and became an important visual icon. Because we were becoming aware of ourselves as citizens of one planet, tiny and vulnerable, the 1970s would become the decade of the Earth. It was as if we could see ourselves, floating alone in a vast, empty, and indifferent universe, and like the technological teenagers we were, we finally realized the value of cleaning up our room.
Thursday, 03 April 2014 18:25
By Samatha Abrams,
Co-Founder, Emmy's Organics
When you're shopping in GreenStar, there is a lot to look at. The aisles are filled with products and brands that you know and many that you don't. What are the things that you check for? Do you look at the branding of a package and think, "This is for me!" Or do you look at the ingredients of the product? Or do you shop by certifications, such as "Organic" or "Non--GMO"?
Do you ever wonder what else is behind a product and the company that makes it? There's so much behind the business of packaging and branding that is meant to confuse shoppers. A package that looks natural, healthy, or consciously made may quite possibly be the opposite. This issue is exactly what the non-profit B Lab was created to tackle. In their words, it's "a way for consumers to differentiate between a 'Good Company' and just 'Good Marketing.'"
B Lab, the non-profit behind B Corps, was founded in 2006. Their main mission? To serve a movement of entrepreneurs who are "redefining success in business." To do this, B Lab certifies companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The certification is based on the "B Impact Assessment," which helps companies measure their impact on workers, the community, and the environment.
Beyond having created a tool to help companies measure impact, B Lab supports entrepreneurs who use business as a force for good by passing legislation for a new corporate form all around the country. This new corporate form, the Benefit Corporation, allows companies to bake their social and environmental missions into the DNA of their companies. B Corps around the world have been shown to create higher quality jobs and improve the quality of life in their communities for current and future generations.
Friday, 28 February 2014 16:07
By Joe Romano,
How do Ithacans grow smart, strong, and healthy kids? With the Ithaca Children's Garden, of course! That is why GreenStar has partnered with ICG in a wide assortment of ongoing initiatives over the next four years. We have chosen ICG as a partner because of their history of teaching kids about the environment and their ongoing commitment to teaching kids about growing and eating healthy, sustainable food. "Everything we do at the Ithaca Children's Garden is done with one goal in mind: To inspire the next generation of environmental stewards," they say on their website. "We know the best way to do that is to get more children outside, with hands-on experiences, having fun in the natural world."
This is clearly aligned with GreenStar's Vision Statement in which "We envision a world that reveres the earth and the web of life it supports, where our choices are guided by stewardship, sustainability, and social justice."
This alignment was already enough of a reason to work with ICG, but when they decided to further their commitment to teaching kids how to grow and eat healthy food by building an outdoor kitchen we decided it was time to join forces as the ICG/GreenStar Partnership for Healthy Kids.
The partnership will allow the Ithaca Children's Garden to provision the new outdoor kitchen with pots, pans, and cooking supplies, plant the 50'x120' edible teaching and learning gardens, supply ICG's Organic Salad Farmers program with organic seed and growing medium, and stock the "pantry" for their garden chefs programs and camps with locally grown, high quality, GreenStar-purchased foodstuffs. The partnership will also make five need-based camp scholarships available.
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By Laura Buttenbaum,
What is a co-op? This seemingly straightforward question can elicit a wide range of responses, from visceral and intrinsic to completely organizational and economic. According to the International Cooperative Association, "A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons unite...