Sunday, 03 June 2012 00:27
By Brandon Kane,
On March 29, GreenStar's Membership Manager, Alexis Alexander, and I enjoyed dining with nine members of the Co-op. These member-owners were randomly invited to engage in an open-ended conversation with us regarding all things GreenStar, while enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by our Deli. I found this interaction tremendously valuable and plan on holding more of these "Dinners with the GM" on a regular basis. Not only was it an opportunity for members to give direct feedback on the Co-op from their particular perspectives, but it was a chance to really engage members of the community on a level that our schedules do not often allow.
Below is a list of the topics explored that evening — some are big, some small, but all provided valuable input on how GreenStar can best meet the needs of its member-owners:
- There is a pressing need for an additional customer bathroom at the West-End store.
- Perhaps there can be a small baby changing room as well.
- It was recognized that the West-End is very busy and there is little space to meet the demand of its customers.
- Weight scales in the West-End bulk section are difficult to deal with because of the compressed retail space.
Thursday, 31 May 2012 15:50
By Joe Romano,
What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.
— Henry David Thoreau
Last Month, the 10th Annual Conference of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) convened in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our local BALLE affiliate, Local First Ithaca, was there in force; our contingent included Local First Ithaca co-founder and GreenStar Council member Jan Rhodes Norman and myself, current Local First Ithaca President and GreenStar Marketing Manager. In total, seven people represented Ithaca, all of them GreenStar members.
Together, Local First Ithaca and GreenStar are perfectly aligned to take the concept of Localism to the next level in our community, and so we make an annual trip to another BALLE city like Grand Rapids. To see the programs they have enacted is an exciting enough prospect. The fact that they are hosting a four-day conference with Localism leaders from around the globe, sharing their ideas on living local, makes it a game-changing event. Add a day trip to Detroit to count the victories of the people of that once-great and soon-to-be-great-again city, and it becomes an epic adventure in Localism.
But what is Localism? What does it mean? Obviously it means buying local, so why the –ism?
Friday, 03 February 2012 21:25
By Kristie Snyder,
Friendship Donations Network volunteers prepare for a weekly food pantry distribution at Ithaca's Immaculate Conception Church. Friendship Donations Network (FDN) supplies Loaves and Fishes and dozens of food pantries in the Ithaca area each week with fresh, perishable food donated by local stores including GreenStar. You can donate money to support FDN's mission at any GreenStar register. For a list of weekly pantries, visit http://friendshipdonations.org/pantry-schedule.
Last of the seven Cooperative Principles that guide GreenStar and other co-ops is Concern for Community: "Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members."
Community support takes many forms at GreenStar, some more quantifiable than others. Monetary donations are pretty quantifiable, and GreenStar puts its money where its cooperative mouth is, donating thousands of dollars every year to support local organizations, while at the same time providing member-owners channels through which they can donate directly.
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Summer bounty is arriving every day! Asparagus, greens, and LOCAL STRAWBERRIES! Rejoice!
June is here — it seems like just the other day I was writing about cold, freezing snow, no local greens, and a world ruled by reptilian overlords. Well, maybe not that last part, but here we are: June, and the local bounty is back! The Good Life Farm continues to have their a...