What is Membership?
Since the beginning, GreenStar's mission focused on making nutritious, whole food available to its members. But membership means more than just access to good, healthy food...
When you join the Co-op you become a Member-Owner of a locally-owned and cooperatively operated values-based business. We focus on the social and environmental impact GreenStar makes on our local and global community, as well as economic performance. We put our values first, and return all profits back to the Co-op or donate them to the community.
One Member – One Vote means your voice truly counts!
Like all consumer co-ops, GreenStar is owned and democratically run by the people who use the store. Unlike traditional corporations where the amount of a stockholder's investment determines his or her voting power, every member at GreenStar has equal voting rights. As a Member-Owner, you have an equal say in the future direction of GreenStar.
By investing and participating in your co-op, you're putting your values into action.
Through your Equity Share investment and patronage, GreenStar supports the health and well-being of our member-owners, our community and the planet by:
- Purchasing from local farmers and businesses
- Paying a livable wage
- Using clean energy and recycled office supplies
- Supporting organic agriculture and fair trade producers
- Offering health insurance to employees
- Donating to local charities and events
- Providing education on nutrition, health and sustainability
- Improving access to healthy food to those on limited budgets through the FLOWER program
Sunday, 11 October 2015 00:48
By Alexis Alexander,
October was proclaimed National Co-op Month by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in 1964 to pay tribute to the benefits that differentiate the cooperative business model from other ways to structure businesses. Today, Co-op Month honors over 30,000 co-ops nationwide, operating in every industry including agriculture, energy, financial services, food retail, health care, child care, insurance, housing, and more.
Co-op Month's theme for 2015, "Take Ownership," highlights how the cooperative business model gives consumers and workers a real stake in their economic destinies. Since co-ops are owned and controlled by the people who use or deliver their services, decisions are made with the best interests of co-op members in mind — not the financial benefit of corporate stockholders. There are many ways that co-op member-owners can become actively involved in setting policies and shaping the future of their cooperatives. Examples include engaging in the voting process, serving on Council or committees, or attending member meetings and co-op classes. Another significant way member-owners can Take Ownership is by talking about the unique benefits of cooperatives with others, and encouraging them to join.
At GreenStar, October offers a number of opportunities to Take Ownership:
The most direct opportunity for member-owners to influence GreenStar policies is the membership vote on six bylaws changes that Council has proposed. The voting period runs the entire month of October. Ballots can be cast in either store. Information on the proposed changes can be found in the Fall Member Mailing that will be sent to members this month and posted on the GreenStar website.
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 18:42
By Alexis Alexander,
In October, member-owners have the opportunity to vote on six bylaws changes being proposed by Council. GreenStar's bylaws, the rules that govern the internal management of the Co-op, were originally established when GreenStar was incorporated. According to our bylaws, one of the essential rights of member-owners is the ability to vote on the creation and changes to the bylaws and mission statement.
Unfortunately, GreenStar, like many co-ops, suffers from very poor voter turnout relative to the number of member-owners. For instance, only 5 percent of member-owners voted in the Council elections last April. This month's column reviews why it's important for member-owners to vote and provides more specific information on the upcoming October vote.
Why should I vote?
As a cooperative, we exist to meet the needs of our member-owners who, through a democratic voting process, actively participate in decision making and in setting GreenStar policies. Counter to the world of corporations, where voting power fluctuates in accordance with money invested, every member-owner at GreenStar has one vote, so all votes are equal.
The more voting member-owners in the Co-op, the more effectively GreenStar can meet the needs of the majority. It's that simple. When only a small percentage of the membership votes, we never really know if the resultant policy or action truly meets the needs of the majority of member-owners or is in their best interest.
Monday, 03 August 2015 22:50
By Alexis Alexander,
As students return to Ithaca in late August, GreenStar will be hosting a two-week extravaganza of celebration and education. Two exciting celebratory events are planned, along with two opportunities for members and nonmembers to learn more about co-ops, including the history of the cooperative movement and its impact on local and global communities.
Topping the list of events to watch for is a performance by the amazing hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, who will be playing at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the newly renovated Ithaca Commons on Thursday, Sept. 3. The show is being sponsored by GreenStar and the Cornell Hip Hop Collection, in partnership with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA), as part of the CFCU Summer Concert Series. The concert is scheduled from 6 to 8 pm, with Kweli expected to take the stage at 7.
According to the DIA, Kweli is "one of the most lyrically gifted and socially aware rappers on the scene." He and Mos Def collaborate as the East-coast rap duo Black Star, and he has also collaborated with prominent artists such as Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Justin Timberlake, Norah Jones, and Gary Clark, Jr.
Our Marketing Department has worked tirelessly with the DIA and the Cornell Hip Hop Collection to secure an internationally renowned performer for the event, and we are incredibly grateful and excited for their success in bringing the community what will undoubtedly be an evening of memorable music and spirit. Moreover, the values embodied in Kweli's lyrics — social change, equity, and diversity — are the very same values that drive GreenStar's mission as a cooperative enterprise. If those values are important to you, then you may find our educational offerings in August, as described below, to be of great interest.
Co-op Education ...
On Monday, Aug. 24, we will offer our Co-op Enterprise 101 info session in a two-hour program starting at 7 pm in the Classrooms @ GreenStar. This session aims to educate and empower our member-owners in all things cooperative. Topics include the origins and history of the modern cooperative movement, more recent developments in various co-ops throughout the world, and how and where GreenStar fits into that picture. The training is relevant to most anyone drawn to shop at our stores: those new to cooperatives, those interested in learning what co-ops are all about but not yet fully engaged, those who've had long tenures of co-op engagement, whether at GreenStar or elsewhere. The session is free and open to both member-owners and nonmembers.
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By Joe Romano, Marketing Manager
The workings of the human heart are the profoundest mystery of the universe. One moment they make us despair of our kind, and the next we see in them the reflection of the divine image.
--Charles W. Chestnut
A billion heartbeats. As measured in heartbeats, it seems that every animal on the planet lives roughly the same lifespan, about a billion heartbeats. Usually, the smaller animals, whose hearts beat faster, have shorter “real-time” live...