Connecting Community & Sustainability

Megan & Mary at Earth Day 2016

Left: Megan Straughen Right: Mary Veerkamp

As you may have recently noticed, the Co-op is growing a lot!  We have created several new key positions and have expanded others.  With the recent departure of employee extraordinaire Mary Veerkamp, we created a new position which will coordinate events, education and sustainability initiatives for the Co-op.  I couldn’t be any more pleased to take over this role, expanding on my previous role as Sustainability Coordinator.

While studying at Antioch University of New England, I cultivated my passion for working on environmental matters and studying food systems, issues that continue to fuel my work at the Co-op.  During my time at Antioch I also fell in love with the Keene community – one of the things I love most about working at the Co-op is feeling like I’m working right in the heart of our community.

In the past year the Co-op has made impressive steps towards becoming a more sustainable enterprise:  launching a commercial composting system with Martin’s Farm, piloting a Community Supported Solar project with the Monadnock Sustainability Network, rolling out a line of reusable mason jars and coffee mugs to decrease disposable cup use (currently with a promo that will get you free coffee from the Co-op, Brewbakers and Prime Roast!) and coordinating the largest Earth Day event in memory which featured over 70 vendors and the Keene Farmers Market.  All of these efforts support many of the Co-op’s Ends Policies, which are another six reasons I love working to keep our community, and our Co-op, thriving.

If you were lucky enough to get to know Mary while she was here, I’m sure you’ll agree that her shoes are of a size and stature that are simply unfillable!  However, I hope to be able to take this recently expanded position and continue contributing to change that has a positive impact on our Co-op and our community.  If you see me around the store, please say hello and tell me what projects you would like to see the Co-op focus on in terms of sustainability, environmental impacts, events and educational workshops.  Together, we can keep growing and nurturing our unique community.

Ben, Kevin & Megan showing off their Klean Kanteen coffee mugs

Ben, Kevin & Megan showing off their Klean Kanteen coffee mugs