Sustaining The Movement

Last night over dinner, my brother and I were talking about my job here at the Co-op and what interested me in the food industry. I talked about my love for food and the local and sustainable movements and the desire to mesh them together. Then he asked me, “What’s sustainability?” I immediately went wide eyed and responded, “How do you not know what sustainability is?!” As I went to explain it to him, I realized I couldn’t. This term, sustainability, has become so ambiguous over the years that I couldn’t define something I claim I’m so passionate about.

As I continued to think about it throughout the night, the more and more it bugged me. What is sustainability?

Literally, sustainability means capable of being sustained. But for me, that’s still not good enough.

While sustainability covers an overwhelming amount of issues, it seems as though sustainability is subjective to the person. To me, sustainability means eating local whenever possible and supporting my local economy financially & morally. But, to others, sustainability might mean buying renewable energy and taking public transportation or maintaining a garden and composting waste. Some might even be satisfied with just recycling their plastic water bottles.

Standing behind a cause or a movement is a great thing, whether it is similar to my ideals or something completely different. But what I learned from my brother is that I need to be able to articulate my thoughts in order convince others to join the cause.

At the Co-op, we try to articulate our opinions and thought process as best we can to our members and you. We could use the word sustainable to try and describe our philosophies but I’ll give you a little more detail. Sustainable to us means…


Supporting small businesses, farms, and other co-ops

… by buying product from local business & farmers and partnering with co-ops to make the movement stronger.

Investing in our local community

… by partnering with local businesses through our membership loyalty program.

Providing healthy food at a competitive price

… by constantly reevaluating our pricing to offer a more competitive price

Reducing our waste consumption and disposing of waste properly

… by being creative with what we have and composting & recycling whenever possible

Providing a transparent business model

… by allowing you to control the store.


This post was written by Hillary Wickline, marketing coordinator.


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