Board of Directors: Co-op Ends #3

by Dani Lapiano, Board Member

End # 3: The Co-op models sustainable living

Mountain View Market Co-op Policy Ends

  1. The community benefits from outreach, support, and education.
  2. The Co-op provides information and access to healthy food and health products.
  3. The Co-op models sustainable living.
  4. The Co-op reflects inclusivity and diversity.
  5. The Co-op is a viable alternative economic model based on cooperative principles and values.
  6. The Co-op supports local and regional production and encourages a diverse food system
Here is a quick comparison on the differences between food co-ops and conventional grocery stores when it comes to living sustainably. 

Here is a quick comparison on the differences between food co-ops and conventional grocery stores when it comes to living sustainably. 

Living sustainably is about living within the means of our natural systems; our environment and ensuring that our lifestyle doesn’t harm other people; our society and culture (LandLearn NSW, 2014). 

The Mountain View Market Co-Op has been sustaining itself for 40 years now, ensuring the health and well-being of our members/owners and the community. Sustainable living and sustainable business practices are an important part of being a member/owner of a food cooperative. Food co-ops practice sustainability by supporting local farmers and local vendors. From the very beginning food co-ops have been buying local, organic, and fair trade. 

Food co-ops’ competitive edge is the local movement and building a local sustainable food system. Building a sustainable food system is an important topic all co-ops are discussing these days. 

Our role as a member-owned business is that we believe in educating our Member-owners on the importance of buying local and knowing where your food comes from. Just because it says natural or organic doesn’t mean it didn’t come from thousands of miles away, which is not sustainable. Grocery stores (co-ops and conventional alike) generate a significant amount of waste. What sets retail food co-ops apart is what they do with that waste. Co-ops recycle 96% of cardboard, 74% of food waste, and 81% of plastics, compared to 91%, 36%, and 29%, respectively, recycled by conventional grocers. (See more here.)

Living sustainably is something we all can do, and one of our co-op employees has taken this practice to a whole new level. Neil Whatley has formed a non-profit resource center for learning about and someday building Earthships, which are sustainable houses that are built out of earth and recycled materials. If you don’t know what Earthships are, check out the website earthship.com, which gives you all the information you need to learn about living off the grid in these radically sustainable homes. Neil Whatley is the treasurer of this non-profit organization and is also an MVM Co-op employee doing great things to help the environment we all share. 

In co-operation,

Mountain View Market Board of Directors