Online co-op partnership offers green discounts for university

For a college student living on a budget, being a sustainable consumer is not always a top priority, The Diamondback reports.

However, a new university partnership with, an online local cooperative business, aims to help students go green. Through the partnership, which was formed in the spring and officially implemented this semester, all members of the university community will be able to get discounted access to sustainable products and services.

Alumni, students and university employees can join GreenSavings for a one-time fee of $30 — compared to a $100 one-time fee followed by $30 annually for the general public — and university departments will receive free membership, said Mike Kennedy, GreenSavings executive director. The one-time fee gives members access to discounts from the co-op’s 38 supplier members, as well as tips on how to live an affordable green life.

The “first of its kind” in the country, the co-op launched about four years ago and has been slowly growing ever since, expanding its collection of suppliers and increasing its number of individual members, Kennedy said. Students who join the co-op online will receive access to coupons to present to suppliers.

“We’re in the process of figuring out which of the goods and services we provide are the most valuable for each of the cohorts [within the university],” Kennedy said.

The co-op’s supplier members are divided into four categories: energy, green products and services, transportation and home and building — with several companies making up each category. A discounted electricity program that sells wind-generated electricity, programs for buying home appliances and sustainable bike shops are examples of GreenSavings suppliers that could prove useful to the university community, Kennedy said.

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