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.
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 17:54
GreenStar and GreenStar Community Projects were recently recognized by Sustainable Tompkins' annual "Signs of Sustainability"program for "outstanding efforts" to support regional sustainability. On Sunday, Dec. 11, GreenStar joined many other community organizations in receiving awards. GreenStar was recognized in four categories: "Milestones," for reaching our 40th anniversary; "New Sustainability Activity by an Existing Organization — Food System," for establishing our Local Bulk section where one can find a large variety of locally grown and milled grains and flours; "New Sustainability Activity by an Existing Organization — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Composting," for our reusable bag program; and "New Sustainability Activity by an Existing Organization — Sustainability Events," for GreenStar Community Projects' work to host Ithaca's first annual Food Justice Summit.
Sustainable Tompkins has noted these "Signs of Sustainability" each year for the past five years, and it is amazing how our shared regional sustainability efforts have grown! For more information about the "Signs of Sustainability" program, please visit sustainabletompkins.org/signs-of-sustainability/annual-awards/.
GreenStar's Marketing Manager, Joe Romano, accepts the first of four Signs of Sustainability Awards from Sustainable Tompkins Director Gay Nicholson.
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 16:46
By Kristie Snyder, GreenLeaf Editor,
Brandon Kane, General Manager, and
12th Moon, Council President
Another year has begun, and with it comes our annual look ahead at the next year, and beyond, for GreenStar. We talked with General Manager, Brandon Kane, and Council President, 12th Moon, about what lies ahead for the Co-op.
It's 2012 — the world has changed so much in the almost 41 years since GreenStar was founded. What does it mean to be a member of the Co-op today?
BK: There are so many answers to that question! I would start with the fact that we are seeing the results all around us of a world economy that is destabilized and out of control. Now, more than ever, community control of businesses is crucial for economic stability and having a say in how that business affects your community. One essential function of a cooperative, whether it's a natural foods store or a bio-diesel distributor, is that communities, as owners, invest in a business, help direct its mission, and consistently reinvest through participation, which can happen on all kinds of levels. At GreenStar, the simplest level of participation is patronage at the store, and that can increase all the way up to joining Council. There is so much strength in this model it is unbelievable! Look at GreenStar, 41 years old and going stronger than ever. We're currently at a growth rate of 12 percent over 2010. This is the best we've done in years! A critical mass of support for local businesses has definitely been reached, and with this support we're able to do so much — offer community rental space, donation programs to local organizations through our registers, direct support of local farms and vendors through sales at our stores, and support for the formation of co-ops in other communities, most recently illustrated by our expansion loan to Mariposa Co-op in Philly.
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You've waited all year for them — Thornbush grapes are here this month! Along with a bounty of local produce of all kinds.
Apparently July, not August, is the hottest month of the year. I always think of August as being an unbearable sweltering wash of humidity and scorch ... looks like I'm wrong. What I do know, however, is that late August brings us local gra...