What Would Wangari Maathai Do?

Saturday, 01 October 2011 22:46

Joe Romano, 

Marketing Manager


wangari maathai1If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.

— Confucius

Wangari Muta Maathai was born on April 1, 1940, in the central highlands of Kenya, and this September, at the age of 71, she died. By all measure, hers should have been a quiet, local life. Her parents were sustenance farmers who grew barely enough food to feed themselves and their six children. Normally, a girl of her class would not have gone to school, but, oddly, her parents chose to send her. Once there, she was seen to have abilities that led her teachers to encourage her to further her education. She went to college in America and returned to Kenya where she finished her Ph.D. and became research assistant to the Head of Veterinary Medicine at Nairobi University.

This was much more than anyone could have expected her to achieve, but it was not enough for Wangari Maathai. After marrying a politician, she was exposed to the poorest slums in Kenya, and her conscience forced her to act. She saw a vicious cycle — hungry women scavenging for firewood to prepare meals, felling more and more trees, which led to local deforestation, erosion, and the eventual desertification of land, which, in turn, led to more hunger.

Read more: What Would Wangari Maathai Do?

Forty Years On

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 19:43

By Joe Romano, 

Marketing Manager

un-coop-yearTime flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

— Groucho Marx

The year was 1970. Americans had a dangerously unhealthy diet, the environment was in serious trouble and we were embroiled in an unpopular conflict in Vietnam. These were untenable situations and people responded across the nation and locally, here in Ithaca.

As the year wore on, protests would lead President Nixon to sign the Paris Peace Accord, ending that war. People's concern for the environment would lead to a revitalized Clean Air Act and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency. And a growing natural foods movement would lead, one year later, in 1971, to the formation of a natural foods co-op that boasts its eight thousandth member this year: GreenStar Cooperative Market.

Read more: Forty Years On


Page 5 of 11

  • By Brandon Kane,
General Manager

    greenstar-collegetown-store-300As I draft this update, GreenStar is only a short time away from closing on the loans that will fund our third cooperative market in Ithaca, slated to open in the late summer of 2016. The funding for this project offers a terrific example of the cooperati...

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