On my new route to the school after moving house, there’s a Co-op store. Already, it’s been a godsend. There’s a clothes recycling bin for all the stuff I paid to have moved and which there is now no room for. There are glass recycling facilities for all the extra bottles of Chardonnay I’m having to get through to keep up with the unpacking. And, of course, there’s the actual shop – full of goodies, including their lovely own-brand coffee, which I swear is the best I’ve ever tasted in a cafetiere.
It’s hard to believe that the first co-op was started way back in 1844 by the Rochdale Pioneers. It’s a revolution which is still going strong. As well as The Co-operative Group, with six million members and 5,000 businesses, ranging from food, financial services, travel, pharmacy and funerals, there are thousands of other co-operators who share the same heritage. The Co-operative’s Green Schools initiative is an example. It’s the most wide-ranging sustainability programme currently in UK schools. From helping to organize walking buses, to providing visits to green energy sites, and trips to farms to see how food is grown, the Co-operative does more to get children involved in green living than any other UK business.
One school to benefit from this partnership with The Co-operative was Sir Thomas Boughey High School in Staffordshire. It was one of the first Co-operative Business Colleges in the UK and one of 185 schools the Co-operative has helped to generate their own green electricity, with a roof-mounted solar panel system. As a major sponsor, the Co-operative also support the school, staff, parents and pupils, in all areas of the curriculum. You can find out more about the project, and the Co-operative revolution, on Facebook or go to their Join the Revolution page.
Good old Co-op. You can always rely on it to help out. And I do.