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



1,150 Letters Sent to Governor Cuomo Demanding a Permanent Ban on Hydrofracking

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

486px-andrew cuomo_by_pat_arnow_croppedI can't thank our member-owners, customers and cashiers enough! When we first decided to do a One-Minute Activist letter asking Governor Cuomo to issue a permanent statewide ban on hydrofracking, we set our goal at 500 letters. To tell you the truth, I secretly asked myself, "I wonder if we could actually collect 1,000 letters?" I shouldn't have even questioned it! The passion of our membership and customer base where health and environmental matters are concerned was well evident. At final count, we sent Governor Cuomo a box, six inches deep, containing 1,170 signed letters!

 This was the most successful One-Minute Activist campaign GreenStar has ever conducted. For those who aren't familiar with the One-Minute Activist program, here's how it works: we put up a poster in the Member Center outlining a specific food, environmental or social justice issue that relates to GreenStar's mission, and then provide a letter or petition addressed to pertinent government officials. Our member-owners and customers can thus take collective action quickly. Typically, we get about 200 to 300 signatures. The most we've ever collected before this effort was 425, which, probably not coincidentally, was for another anti-hydrofracking letter to Governor Paterson two years ago.

The key to our success this time around was the truly remarkable job our cashiers did informing member-owners and customers about the One-Minute Activist letter. When we shared with them what we were doing, our cashiers enthusiastically embraced the effort to let member-owners and customers know about the letter. Their efforts helped us to successfully spread the word, and our member-owners and customers were equally enthusiastic, taking time out, despite the busy holiday season, to sign letters.

We also learned that a number of member-owners took copies of the letters and distributed them to friends and at meetings, returning the letters to the store to be included in the box to Governor Cuomo. Equally exciting was being encouraged by member-owner Lawrence McCann, who helped organize the gas drilling public hearing at the State Theater in December, to read the letter aloud at the hearing.

Lawrence thought our letter would be a perfect addition to the hearing, and would help us collect more signatures. At first, it didn't look like we would have a chance to speak at the hearing. We were 73rd in line to speak, and the facilitator informed the audience that there would probably only be time enough for 70 speakers. But when those who held numbers 70 through 72 decided to simply turn in their written statements and leave early, I found myself at the podium after all. It was a very moving moment, and seemed rather fitting that GreenStar, a long-standing icon in the community for health, social and environmental issues, ended up being the organization to wrap up the hearing.

All in all, our hydrofracking One-Minute Activist action was a true community effort, and we want to thank each and every person who supported it.

Renewal Reminder:

It's that time of year again, when many member-owners are due to renew their memberships. Renewal is quick and easy, and can be done right at the registers. No paperwork necessary, just the touch of a few buttons by the cashier. If you are unsure if it is time for you to renew, simply ask your cashier!

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