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.

The co-operative business model has proven to be a strong alternative to traditional profit-driven businesses. And, for every dollar you spend in a locally-owned business or cooperative, 45 cents is return to the community, compared to only 13 cents when you spend a dollar at a chain store.

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



Co-operative Enterprise 101 — 
A Special Info Session for Member-Owners

Thursday, 02 July 2015 06:54

By Alexis Alexander,

Membership Manager

In response to several requests, I am happy to announce that we're offering a new information session for member-owners and nonmember customers this summer, called Co-operative Enterprise 101. Membership Administrator Laura Buttenbaum, who developed a similar and well-received training for staff this past fall, will lead the session. Join us for one of two scheduled sessions on Thursday, July 9 or Monday, August 24. Classes will run from 7 to 9 pm in the Classrooms @ GreenStar. If you're interested but unable to attend this summer, stay tuned: additional sessions will be scheduled this fall.

Co-op Enterprise 101 aims to educate and empower our member-owners in all things cooperative. This includes 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 the cooperative scene, those interested in learning what co-ops are all about but not yet fully engaged, and those who have long tenures of co-op engagement, whether at GreenStar or elsewhere.

Without giving too much of the fascinating material covered in the class away, I've laid out a brief description of the class agenda below.

Read more: Co-operative Enterprise 101 — 
A Special Info Session for Member-Owners


The International Day of Cooperatives is July 4

Wednesday, 03 June 2015 01:53

By Alexis Alexander,

Membership Manager

ExpansionIn 1995, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the first Saturday of July as the International Day of Co-operatives (IDC), an annual celebration of cooperatives worldwide. They chose this particular day in order to coincide with the International Co-operative Alliance's International Co-operative Day, established in 1923.

The purpose of IDC is to increase general awareness of co-ops and to promote the movement's successes and ideals of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace. IDC also provides an opportunity to strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other groups, including governments, at local, national, and international levels.

This year, IDC fortuitously falls on July 4, American Independence Day. The chosen theme for the 2015 celebration is Equality, with the slogan "Choose co-operative, choose equality."

This slogan highlights the fact that inequality around the world is on the rise, and that co-ops offer a viable solution to reverse this trend. According to a Credit Suisse report, the top 1 percent of the world's population is estimated to possess nearly half of the world's wealth, whereas the entire bottom half of the population holds less than 1 percent of its wealth. Money, however, is only one component of the world's growing inequality crisis — with issues of ethnicity, gender, age, religion, and more making their mark. Inequality, in all its varied forms, impedes economic growth, hinders people from earning fair wages and accumulating wealth, and prevents equal access to high-quality, unadulterated products and services.

Read more: The International Day of Cooperatives is July 4

May 21 Forecast: Blue Skies; 100% Chance of Dancing

Friday, 01 May 2015 21:39

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

blue-sky-mission-clubI'm thrilled to announce that Blue Sky Mission Club will perform at our annual Springtime Dance Party in the Parking Lot on Thursday, May 21. As every Ithaca dance-lover knows, May is the month when the outdoor music-and-dance season begins in earnest, brightening our lives as the rich bounty of local talent fills the streets and parks throughout the region. What better place for GreenStar member-owners to kick off this incredible season than in our own parking lot!

Blue Sky Mission Club embraces a "deep understanding of roots, rhythm, and Americana," creating "a sound all their own with jumping Soulgrass beats and lively social commentary — festival style!" Their music will be absolutely perfect for GreenStar member-owners as they take over the far side of the West-End parking lot (near the Receiving area) and dance to their hearts' content! After such a long, harsh winter, it's just what the doctor ordered to get ourselves "in the groove" for a summertime of amazing dance and music!

So get out your dancin' shoes and bring your friends, dancing partners, and family to the parking lot of the West-End store at 5:30 pm on the 21st for two hours of superb, free local music by one of the area's best dance bands. Everyone is welcome!

I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the annual member-owner survey in March. In total, we collected just under 1,200 surveys, an outstanding number and about 400 more than last year. We're currently inputting the surveys we received off-line and will be reporting results to Council in June. We also plan to announce the three winners of the drawing for $50 GreenStar gift cards in the June GreenLeaf. Stay tuned!

Have you seen the beautiful, colorful mural that now adorns our Classrooms building? The farmer-and-food-justice-themed mural comes to us through the City of Ithaca Public Art Commission Mural Street Art Program. A huge thanks to GreenStar member-owner Caleb Thomas, who helped to coordinate this effort, bringing more beauty and artistry to our West-End neighborhood. If you haven't seen it yet, please check it out. It's awesome!


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2015 Spring Member Mailing. Candidate statements, ballots, voting instructions and more.


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