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.
Friday, 03 February 2012 04:49
By Joe Romano,
It is the very boundary that establishes our sense of being a separate self ... like all boundaries it is only an illusion.
— Ken Wilber
Where is GreenStar? What are its boundaries? Where is its beginning and where, if at all, does it end?
You could look to a kitchen table in the late 1960s or to a document signed in 1971 for its beginnings. Or you could look back further to the Rochdale Pioneers who "created" cooperation.
You could describe the boundaries of our buildings, and say it all starts at the front door and goes to the back, measuring all the property lines, delineating sales space, offices, storage and meeting rooms and even parking spots and dining areas.
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