Providing tools and support to community members to create local initiatives that build local capacity and leadership, increase environmental sustainability, and foster greater livability and vitality.
Action Idea #4: Set Up a Co-op
Help your community apply the “co-operative” approach—in which co-op members jointly own or manage a good or service for their mutual benefit—to everything from transportation and local gardens to renewable energy.
IDEAS & INSPIRATIONS
Is there a need in your community that could be met through a formal or informal co-op approach? Here are some ideas:
- Start a community garden. See Starting a Community Garden and How to Share a Vegetable Garden.
- Start or join a CSA (community supported agriculture) or meat/egg-sharing co-op. See LocalHarvest, Growing a CSA from Scratch, How to Share a Cow, and How to Share a Chicken (or Two).
- Set up a babysitting co-op or nanny share. See Childcare Co-ops 101, Organize a Child Care Co-Op, Babysitting Coop, BabysitterExchange, How to Share a Nanny, and Babysitting Co-op Meetups.
For more about babysitting co-ops, see New Dream's webinar recording How to Start a Babysitting Co-op.
- Start a solar or alternative energy co-op. See our video on the Mt. Pleasant Solar Cooperative in Washington, D.C. and our step-by-step guide on “Starting a Solar Co-op" (see PDF). Also, see How to Help Your Neighbors Go Solar, How I Helped a D.C. Neighborhood Go Solar, Community Power Network, Mosaic, and One Block Off The Grid.
For more about solar co-ops, see New Dream's webinar recording Community Solar 101.
- Set up a carpooling program. See How to Carpool with Strangers and How to Share School Transportation—and Why.
- Start a food buying club. See How to Save Big Money on Groceries by Starting a Food Buying Club, FoodClub.org, and United Buying Clubs.
- Set up a landshare program. See How to Share Land, Landshare, and GardenSwap.
- Start a campus food co-op. See CoFED and Top 10 Tips for Starting a Campus Food Co-op.
- Set up a worker-owned co-op. See How-Tos and Help, How to Start a Worker Co-op, and Evergreen Cooperatives.
- Start a housing co-op. See How to Start a Housing Co-op and How to Share a House: A Case Study.