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



Members Approve Eight Sets of Bylaws Updates

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 14:54

By Michael Hoysic, 

Bylaws Review Committee Member

HandsSoilWeb_smGreenStar member-owners voted to pass eight of nine proposed sets of changes to the Co-op’s bylaws during October’s voting period. Only Set 2, which would have reduced the number of Councilmembers from 15 to 12, failed to receive the necessary two-thirds majority votes required for a bylaws

Read more: Members Approve Eight Sets of Bylaws Updates


A Partnership in Bloom: FLOWER and Ithaca Community Harvest

Tuesday, 30 November 2010 14:46

By Alexis Alexander,

Membership Manager

Shortly after GreenStar introduced the low-income discount FLOWER program in late September, I met with Liz Karabinakis, Program Coordinator of GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP), our non-profit affiliate. Our intention was to discuss GreenStar’s current support of GSCP and the Ithaca Community Harvest Project through our Member Labor program, and, separately, to discuss how GSCP could support the FLOWER program. What ensued was an exciting realization — that the goals of the FLOWER program and Ithaca Community Harvest went hand in hand, and that the synergy between them could further enhance our efforts to bring wholesome, natural food to more people within our community, including low-income individuals. 

Ithaca Community Harvest is an awesome new program that provides volunteer labor on local farms in exchange for the farms’ surplus produce. The surplus is then distributed to the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program at Beverly J. Martin Elementary School (BJM) and the after-school snack and meal programs at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) and the Southside Community Center (SSCC). Ithaca Community Harvest is a collaborative effort of the Village at Ithaca with the support of GSCP and the Ithaca City School District, and in cooperation with Gardens4Humanity, Healthy Food for All and the Whole Community Project of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. This spring, the GSCP Board of Directors decided to make Ithaca Community Harvest their primary focus since the goals of the program so directly reflect GSCP’s mission to promote food justice and regional food sustainability.

Read more: A Partnership in Bloom: FLOWER and Ithaca Community Harvest

The Seven Cooperative Principles: Part 2

Tuesday, 02 November 2010 13:20

By Alexis Alexander,
Membership Manager

This month we’ll complete our review of the seven Cooperative Principles. These principles are central to the operations of co-ops worldwide, and help highlight the difference between values-driven cooperatives and profit-driven corporations.

Principle #4: Autonomy & Independence. Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations that enter into agreements with other organizations in ways that maintain the co-op’s independence and democratic control by the members.

Read more: The Seven Cooperative Principles: Part 2


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  • Download this flyer.

    The Ombuds program was created to assist members of the GreenStar community (members, staff, vendors and others) in getting questions, concerns, suggestions, problems or complaints (involving the Co-op) addressed. We are guided by four main ethical principles: confidentiality, neutrality/impartiality, independence and informality.

    What does a GreenStar Ombudsperson DO?

    • Acts as an i...



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