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



Switch to Email, Plant a Tree, Change Lives!

By Alexis Alexander, 
Membership Manager

twitter-round-logoIn February, GreenStar member-owners who haven't yet signed up to have required member-owner mailings sent to them via email will have an exciting opportunity to do so. Are you wondering how this could be exciting? For every member-owner who switches to email, GreenStar will make a donation to Trees for the Future; thus, a tree will be planted on behalf of our membership for each new person who makes the switch. Our goal is to have 1,000 member-owners switch to email, which would represent 1,000 new trees being planted!

To sign up for getting the required member-owner mailing by email, you can fill out a contact information form available at the Member Centers at either store.

Trees for the Future (TREES) plants trees with rural communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, helping them to restore their environment, grow more food, and build a sustainable future. Our goal of 1,000 trees would contribute to rebuilding forests for replenishing critical groundwater supplies to provide for future generations. TREES has helped revitalize lands degraded by illegal logging and unsustainable land management systems by providing farmers with tree seed, technical training, and on-site planning assistance. Since the eighties, TREES has assisted thousands of communities in 19 countries in planting millions of trees. To learn more about Trees for the Future, check out their website: www.treesforthefuture.org.

You may be asking why we're doing this. As member-owners, we receive many great benefits, such as the new U-Pick 10% Off. But membership also comes with important responsibilities — like participating in the democratic process through voting in Council elections and voting on bylaws amendments and member referendums. Our bylaws require the Co-op to mail certain communications, such as the announcements for our Annual Spring and Fall member-owner meetings and information regarding membership votes and Council elections. Additionally, for the past two years, we've mailed an annual member-owner survey to gain important feedback on how the Co-op is doing.

Although our annual mailings are few in number, with a membership base of over 9,000, it's expensive to produce the materials and pay for postage. In addition, the annual member-owner surveys require manual entry of the survey data, a time-consuming and costly task.

The February email address drive is an effort to reduce the costs and resources associated with these expensive mailings and associated coupons. In turn, we can invest the money we save into further enhancements of our stores and more member-owner benefits. That's why this year, rather than mailing out the annual member-owner survey, we'd like to email it to as many member-owners as possible. Member-owners will be able to submit their input online via user-friendly Survey Monkey.

The online survey offers the added benefit of automated data entry — a huge time saver. For those who prefer not to use email, we'll also have surveys available to our member-owners in the stores.

To sign up for getting the required member-owner mailing by email, you can fill out a contact information form available at the Member Centers at either store. For those already on that list, you can use the same form to update your information if your email address has changed in the past year. Finally, please use the form to update your mailing address if you still prefer to receive the required mailings through the postal service.

In addition to the required member-owner mailings, we maintain two other email lists for our member-owners. If you're on the first, you'll receive occasional announcements about upcoming member-owner events and specials, typically numbering around 12 per year. If you're on the second, you'll receive the monthly schedule of GreenStar classes. Want to opt in on either or both? Just fill out the form at the Member Centers.

As Trees for the Future's website states: Plant Trees. Change Lives. It's exciting that this year, through a switch to time- and cost-efficient email options, GreenStar member-owners can help contribute to such a worthy cause.

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