General Manager’s Report: 2020 Wage and Expansion Updates

2020-01-10T10:47:47-05:00

By Brandon Kane, General Manager Living Wage Update As we step into the New Year, I want to take this time to reestablish GreenStar’s commitment as an equitable and fair employer in our community. I’m proud of what GreenStar is able to achieve for our staff and for our member-owners. I know that a great deal of what we’re able to contribute is thanks to our cooperative model. I also understand that community organizations and cooperatives are often held to a higher standard than most businesses, because of our intimate connection with stakeholders and their communities. One of the primary standards GreenStar and other co-ops have been held to is our commitment to be a fair-wage-and-benefits employer in the [...]

General Manager’s Report: 2020 Wage and Expansion Updates2020-01-10T10:47:47-05:00

Bring Your Own Bag to Support Ability in Bloom

2020-01-03T15:06:45-05:00

Each quarter, GreenStar selects three local not-for-profits to be the recipients of our Bring Your Own Bag, Use It for Good program donations. Our BYOB program encourages shoppers to bring their own bags by providing them with a token worth 5¢ that they can donate to one of the chosen organizations. At the end of the quarter, we make a donation to the groups based on the number of tokens given by our customers. This quarter, our recipients are Ability in Bloom, Habitat for Humanity, and the Ithaca Public Education Initiative. Ability in Bloom is a social-enterprise program of Challenge Workforce Solutions. Through a quarter-acre flower-production plot at the Groundswell Incubator Farm, this program provides work-skills training for a [...]

Bring Your Own Bag to Support Ability in Bloom2020-01-03T15:06:45-05:00

Guerilla Prayer Flags Offer Hope and Inspiration in Juarez

2019-12-09T12:52:12-05:00

By Rosario Escobedo, Positive News A grassroots work project called Guerilla Prayer Flags is providing employment, hope, and inspiration to struggling families on the outskirts of Juarez, Mexico, a border city ravaged by drug wars and violent crime. Mothers of special-needs children, widows, and community activists are creating beautiful prayer flags, inspired by the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, out of pieces of cloth, recycled bottle caps, and can tabs in a small workshop amidst sprawling pallet houses, washed-away dirt roads, and families struggling to meet basic needs. The project began when Siba Escobedo, a long-time Juarez aid worker, and her friend from Mexico, Sofia Aleman, a widow with five children, began brainstorming ways that they could create a cooperative business to offer [...]

Guerilla Prayer Flags Offer Hope and Inspiration in Juarez2019-12-09T12:52:12-05:00

General Manager’s Report: Collaborating for Positive Impact

2020-01-09T13:43:36-05:00

By Brandon Kane, General Manager A fundamental difference between GreenStar Food Co+op and our competitors is our collaboration with people, organizations, and businesses in our community to make a positive impact. At GreenStar, we review all choices through the lens of our triple bottom line — people, planet, prosperity — and involve our member-owners to the extent possible in decision-making. I want to revisit the ways GreenStar is cooperating with you in our sustainability efforts. Buying local is one way we reduce our carbon footprint. Undoubtedly, locally grown and produced products require a shorter transport, so the more we purchase foods and goods grown or produced within our region, the stronger our impact. About 27% of GreenStar’s annual sales [...]

General Manager’s Report: Collaborating for Positive Impact2020-01-09T13:43:36-05:00

Get Pumped about Energy Efficiency with HeatSmart

2019-11-13T10:39:20-05:00

By Jonathan Comstock, Solar Tompkins HeatSmart Program Director GreenStar members can be proud of their co-op for making sustainable energy use a key design criteria for the new store nearing completion at 770 Cascadilla Street.  This includes enhanced energy efficiency measures such as excellent insulation of the building envelope and using Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) to heat and air condition the new store. These features provide benefits during building in the form of energy efficiency grants and low-interest loans. After construction, they will provide a cleaner, healthier, and more comfortable store to work and shop in.  And in the big picture, you, the GreenStar member-owners, are simultaneously making a real contribution to sustainability and a future that is not [...]

Get Pumped about Energy Efficiency with HeatSmart2019-11-13T10:39:20-05:00

Appreciating the Cooperative Model

2019-11-05T11:54:39-05:00

Part of the Co+op Forest, along the Huayabamba River in northern Peru. By GreenStar Membership Department Staff November has arrived, launching what many consider to be the season to give thanks, so it’s timely to reflect on our feelings of gratitude. Naturally, you might be thinking of how much you appreciate your family and friends, your home, or your good health. Maybe you’re remembering and honoring those who have sacrificed much, so that we can exercise our human and democratic rights. If you’re a member of a cooperative enterprise, you likely acknowledge and appreciate how this alternative business model is doing things differently — using cooperative principles to put our collective values into practice. One of the [...]

Appreciating the Cooperative Model2019-11-05T11:54:39-05:00

General Manager’s Presentation from the Fall Gathering for Member-Owner

2020-01-09T13:45:09-05:00

On October, 23 2019, GreenStar hosted more than 200 attendees at its Fall Gathering for Member-Owners at The Space@GreenStar. GreenStar's General Manager, Brandon Kane, delivered a presentation updating member-owners on our store relocation project as well as other topics of interest to member-owners. Presentation slides are available here. Comments and questions may be directed to askus@greenstar.coop.

General Manager’s Presentation from the Fall Gathering for Member-Owner2020-01-09T13:45:09-05:00

Indigenous Foods Spotlight

2019-11-04T14:06:43-05:00

Many of us turn toward gratitude in the months and national holidays of November and December. Haudenosaunee people, indigenous to the Finger Lakes region, give thanks every day. The Thanksgiving Address, or Gano:nyok, serves as a daily reminder to appreciate and acknowledge all things. The Gano:nyok reinforces the connection that people have to the world around them. A portion of this address gives thanks for food: “With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans, and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and [...]

Indigenous Foods Spotlight2019-11-04T14:06:43-05:00

General Manager’s Report: In Gratitude

2019-12-03T11:40:53-05:00

By Brandon Kane, General Manager In the spirit of the season of gratitude, I want to thank you for your support of GreenStar Food Co-op. As a member-owner, owner-volunteer, producer, or shopper, you are the reason GreenStar continues to thrive. When you attend Co-op events, provide suggestions, and participate in our democratic process, you lead the way in affecting the direction and future of our cooperatively owned business. Right now, you can participate in two different surveys posted online. Our annual Customer Satisfaction Survey — for both member-owners and shoppers who have not yet joined the Co-op — is available until Nov. 30. In preparing to expand our product line, we’re also inviting recommendations for [...]

General Manager’s Report: In Gratitude2019-12-03T11:40:53-05:00

Fair Trade Has a Key Role to Play with Climate Change

2019-10-15T11:28:22-04:00

Members of Cooperative Norandino, credit Fair World Project By Co+op, stronger together When the fair trade story is told, people often focus on the social and economic benefits fair trade provides producers, which are significant. But the market stability that fair trade certification creates also empowers farmers to invest in farming methods such as regenerative agriculture, agroforestry and tropical reforestation projects that help to slow climate change. In May of 2018, food co-ops across the country partnered with Fair World Project to raise awareness about the inspiring environmental projects many fair trade producers have undertaken in tropical areas all over the world. In addition to selling over one million dollars of fair trade certified products, directly benefitting producer [...]

Fair Trade Has a Key Role to Play with Climate Change2019-10-15T11:28:22-04:00
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