Cultivating Values

Our Manifesto

Albert O'Connor
May 11, 2017 · 3 min read
Tending a herb green wall in Slovenia by danifunes via unsplash

Living more sustainably should be easier

Three years ago, this belief led friends to found the Avocado Co-op. With a diverse group of trailblazers, we launched the Care Package Subscription Service. The completely customizable Care Package service delivers sustainable versions of household goods — from toilet paper to light bulbs — to your door or a convenient pickup location. Over last 2 years we have delivered over 400 Care Packages!

Avocado is a retail co-operative — meaning it is owned by and accountable to you, members who buy from us. Co-ops are truly mission-driven, our bottom line is helping our members live more sustainably. Earnings are either reinvested or shared, and the control is democratic. If we ever go astray you can help set us back on the right path. A $10 membership share gives you equal ownership of the co-op for life. This direct responsibility to our members, rather than to profits, frees us to think long-term, creatively, and sustainably.

Our Products

The eco-friendly household products we sell are curated, member-tested, and ideally zero waste. We will only offer a few, strong options for any given product category, with clear distinctions made between similar offerings. The shift to sustainable living is a continuous process, so we are constantly researching better products and working to make them available to you. A range of options means you decide which changes you want to make to live more sustainably, and the co-op will support you every step of the way.

Sustainable thinking

At Avocado everything we do we starts with sustainable thinking. If a new way of doing something can be maintained for more generations than the current way can, it is a “more sustainable” option. This can be applied everywhere: from transportation, to our homes, to our toilet paper. We believe that applying sustainable thinking and making continuous incremental improvements is the key to accelerating the shift towards sustainability.

Our values

As a co-op, our values are very important. They help set your expectations, and they help us make decisions about what we are — and what we are not — as we grow. All co-ops share the 7 Principles of Co-operation:

  1. Voluntary And Open Membership
  2. Democratic Member Control
  3. Member Economic Participation
  4. Autonomy and Independence
  5. Education, Training And Information
  6. Co-operation Among Co-operatives
  7. Concern for Community

On that foundation, we add our five core values:

Sharing. When the board discussed our values, “sharing” came up in multiple contexts, from sharing our research with our members, to helping members share information with each other, to sharing what we learn with other co-ops. As a business, it can be impractical to share absolutely everything, but we will make sharing the default.

Capacity. Building capacity means challenging ourselves to incrementally improve all of our processes and investing in long-term plans even at the expense of short-term gains.

Practicality. We optimize for aggregate impact over our entire community. Aiming for absolute sustainability can be overwhelming. Instead, we focus on supporting incremental change. Changes that are easier for more people to make will have a greater aggregate impact than those with a large impact but that only a few people are willing to make.

Inclusiveness. We will meet you where you’re at. Whether you want to take one small step to live more sustainably, or many big steps, we are here to help. Which changes you make are entirely up to you — and all of them, however small or big, are awesome!

Finally, the Experience we provide is as important as the underlying goals. The easier and more remarkable we make living sustainably, the more our community — and our impact — can grow.

If you are in Waterloo Region you can sign up for the 4 month free trial of our customizable Care Package Subscription Service service and keep your home stocked with toilet paper made from the paper in your blue box!

Sustainable Thinking

Making living more sustainable easier, sourced from the…

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