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



GreenStar Forges New, Exciting Partnerships

Friday, 01 November 2013 14:20

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

Food4All-300x260I am thrilled to announce that, for the first time since our FLOWER low-income discount program began four years ago, we've added a new qualifying program, Healthy Food For All (HFFA). What makes this addition particularly exciting is that it's the first local community program to be a qualifier for FLOWER. Until now, we've used only national programs for FLOWER qualification (Food Stamps, Public Assistance, Medicaid, WIC, and Free School Lunch). HFFA will allow us to broaden the program by reaching individuals and families who are income-eligible for those national programs, but don't qualify for other reasons or choose not to participate in them.

Healthy Food For All is a truly beautiful example of food justice in action. The program is a collaborative effort between local farmers who offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares and the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. The program provides households of limited income with access to locally grown produce at a price they can afford via subsidized CSA shares. To ensure that the farmers receive a fair price for these shares, HFFA actively raises funds through grants and benefit galas, such as Harvest Dinners on the Farm. Consequently, HFFA not only benefits the households that receive the produce, but also the farmers who are committed to sustainable, organic farming practices.

Given the similarities in the food access goals of HFFA and our own FLOWER program, using HFFA as a qualifier for FLOWER was simply a natural. Some HFFA participants were already paying for their CSA shares at GreenStar, an arrangement entered into when HFFA was looking for a way to enable participants to pay for the CSA's with food stamps; this was a service we could easily provide. Now, those participants and others in the program will have improved access to an even greater variety of food products through the opportunity to become FLOWER participants. Our FLOWER program is certainly blossoming!

Read more: GreenStar Forges New, Exciting Partnerships


October is Co-op Month and Fair Trade Month!

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 21:42

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

plucking-tea-korakundah-indiaJoin us at the Fall Member Meeting for a Fair Trade presentation by our Bulk Manager, dinner, presentations, and more.

Annual Fall Member Meeting, Friday, Oct. 18, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

We have an exciting presentation planned for our annual Fall Member Meeting in celebration of October Fair Trade Month. GreenStar's Bulk Manager, Joe Damiano, will be sharing his recent experience visiting a number of Fair Trade farms in Peru (which he also discusses on page 1 of this issue). In recognition of GreenStar's commitment to fairly traded products, Joe was invited by Equal Exchange to spend three weeks in Peru to learn more about the practices of Fair Trade farmers and to see, firsthand, how Fair Trade makes a difference in the lives of the farmers and their workers and communities. According to Joe, it was an incredible experience that has made him even more committed to supporting fairly traded products than he was before (and believe me, he had no shortage of commitment prior to the trip!). Joe is delighted to have the opportunity to discuss his incredible journey with our membership at this year's fall meeting.

Read more: October is Co-op Month and Fair Trade Month!

Traveling to Austin and Thinking about Binghamton

Sunday, 01 September 2013 21:37

By Alexis Alexander, 

Membership Manager

Book-People1In the July GreenLeaf, I wrote about a presentation on GreenStar's diversity and inclusion efforts that I co-delivered with Council President 12th Moon at the annual Consumer Cooperative Management Conference (CCMA) in Austin, Texas. This month, I'd like to share another story about my Austin adventure.

CCMA always starts on a Thursday afternoon with various tours for the participants. Each tour includes a number of stops to educate participants about the area. These may include local farms, urban gardens, architectural or historical places of interest, community development projects, and other co-ops. All the tours share one stop in common — the local food co-op hosting the conference.

This year, I selected the "Local Tour," which focused on successful local businesses, including BookPeople, Waterloo Records, Amy's Ice Cream, Black Star Co-op (the world's first cooperatively owned and employee "self-managed" brewpub), and, of course, our host, Wheatsville Food Co-op. While those who know me best will say I chose this tour for the ice cream, truth is that my interest was piqued when I read that the owners of BookPeople and Waterloo Records would be speaking about how the stores have thrived during a time when so many independent book and music stores have gone out of business. It's a subject close to my heart, although I have to admit the idea of having the best ice cream in town didn't hurt my decision making any!

Read more: Traveling to Austin and Thinking about Binghamton


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    Are you looking for resource materials for your latest sustainable building project, information on holistic health, great recipes for using natural food, or a primer on expanding awareness or spirituality? Then you should know about the Durland Alternatives Library.
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