Ends & Sustainability
Some say August is like the Sunday of summer. As we come to the “end” of this wonderful season of long heated sunshiny days, the Board of Directors would like to remind our shoppers and owners of our “Ends statements”.
Unique to the cooperative business model and under the Policy Governance approach, the ends are the most fundamental reasons for a Co-op’s existence and can be thought of as a special type of goal, one that designates the results for which the organization exists. As the Cooperative Grocer Network once described it “Cooperatives exist to create a difference in the world, to provide a benefit and value on behalf of member owners”. Through out the year and in all of our work, the board at Davis Food Coop strives to formulate policy that ensures progress towards its Ends. In case you are unfamiliar or haven’t refreshed yourself recently on our current ends, here they are:
The Davis Food Co-op exists to serve as a community store and gathering place for current and future owners, so they have:
- A thriving cooperatively owned business;
- Access to healthful, local and high-quality food;
- A store that makes environmental sustainability a priority; and,
- Staff who are valued, educated and motivated.
Wow! Each of these Ends statements contains a myriad of components that have the potential to develop great things. Focusing on ends and identifying areas where there is room for development is core to our direction of work. Currently the board is evaluating our Ends statement pertaining to environmental sustainability.
Upon our assessment of prioritizing environmental sustainability, the board and GM recognized that staying current on this issue is a huge task requiring advanced knowledge and expertise. In order to stay on top of this complex and ever changing challenge, the Coop has recently created a new staff position dedicated to this very important matter. Our new Sustainability Coordinator, Leslie, has already brought about some great changes to the Coop to help the store and shoppers be more eco friendly. Although there is still much work to be done, here are some of the recent improvements we are proud of accomplishing so far:
- Elimination of plastic straws from our facility by only using the compostable straws
- Compostable produce bags
- New compost bin
- New signage and education for staff and owners about waste bins
- Bulk aisles front and center
- Bronze level bike friendly certification from League of American Bicyclists
- Drought tolerant landscaping
In addition, the Davis food Coop highlighted Plastic Free July. Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. Recently the store held free classes in our teaching kitchen on how to make beeswax wraps. During July the store also invited customers to share ways in which they were able to reduce their own use of plastic and by doing so were entered in a drawing to receive a giveaway of cool items that help reduce our use of plastic.
There are many ways that the worldwide expansion of plastic use affects our planet and health. Did you know the following about plastic?
- Plastic is made from fossil fuels and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production, to its refining, and the way it is managed as a waste product.
- Chemicals added to plastics can be absorbed by human bodies. Some of these compounds have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.
- Plastic debris, laced with chemicals and often ingested by marine animals, can injure or poison wildlife.
- Floating plastic waste, which can survive for thousands of years in water, serves as mini transportation devices for invasive species, disrupting habitats.
- Plastic buried deep in landfills can leach harmful chemicals that spread into groundwater.
As we move forward in this movement toward better sustainability we invite our shoppers and owners to join us by bringing their own containers or bags, take the time to learn how to best dispose of trash, and to participate in our upcoming events pertaining to environmental sustainability.
Board of Directors at Davis Food Co-op