project leader
Valerie W
New Jersey (New Brunswick)
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the project

Most housecleaners and landscape workers don’t have the opportunity to earn a living wage.  They have to rush through their jobs, using whatever chemicals, equipment and methods their employers decide will maximize profits, often at the expense of the health of the workers, their clients, and the environment.

There is a better way. We are creating a worker-owned cooperative to provide top-notch green housekeeping and landscaping services in our neighborhoods.  Your support of this project will help us develop a business built on cooperation and shared responsibility, democratically controlled by workers able to directly benefit from the hard work they invest.  Our coop will be operated with a commitment to reducing negative environmental impact and helping ‘green’ our neighborhoods by using safer, more environmentally-friendly products and processes.   

We will help our families maintain economic independence by supporting one another.  Our worker-owned coop will offer the very best services, be democratic and socially just, and it will keep money circulating in our own neighborhoods.  We believe we should all strive to take better care of the earth and help others do so as well—even when it takes a bit more time or money.  We also believe workers should be able to earn a living wage, and have safer working conditions with less exposure to harmful products.  Our green service workers’ cooperative will allow us to put both goals into action at the same time, right in the neighborhoods where we live and work. Meaningful, sustainable change can be created from the bottom up, one one worker, one house, and one garden at a time!

the steps

Our small group of founding members has been accepted into an intensive 16-week business boot camp run by Green Worker Cooperatives for cooperative businesses that better our community and our planet.  We're thrilled to be part of it and are looking forward to participating in the training and getting our project off the ground with the help of the incredible mix of technical support services they provide, such as legal incorporation, graphic design, and website development.  Your donation will help to cover our course registration and participation and will make it possible for us to hit the ground running.  We are raising the funds to pay for the registration in and transportation to the 16-week series of workshops and day-long intensive trainings.  

We’ll continue the work we’ve begun reaching out to local groups and organizations interested in the environment and social justice to meet with them and let them know about our project.

While we participate in the trainings, we will also be working with local nonprofit organizations in New Brunswick, and Princeton that work with new labor to include recently arrived workers in the cooperative.  The timeline for developing the cooperative will flow naturally from the schedule of trainings of the 16-week 'boot camp', which starts in February, so we plan to have our new cooperative off the ground by this summer!

why we're doing it

To Help the Environment: We believe that if we each strive to take better care of the environments in our own homes, neighborhoods, work places, and everywhere we go in our daily lives, it will have an immediate effect on the quality of our own lives and of those around us.  We can make an impact on not only our own homes and neighborhoods, but those we travel to and work in. As we all begin to do so more consistently, and as we make more environmentally thoughtful choices when we select the goods, services, and processes we use, the cumulative effect can be truly significant not only for us and our children, but for the future.    

To Increase Social and Economic Justice: We believe everyone should have some control over how they work and that everyone deserves reasonable wages and safe working conditions.

To Increase Environmental Justice:   We believe everyone deserves to live and work in a healthy environment and that everyone can contribute toward reaching that goal.  We feel that environmental stewardship isn’t a luxury only the wealthy can afford to engage in—it is something all of us must spend time and resources on.  We can help share the knowledge and create the opportunities for everyone to use more environmentally respectful processes where we live and work. We can empower one another--and even those for whom we work--to do our part to help the environment.


$1500 for the Green Workers Cooperative 16-week workshop registration $1000 to help defray the cost of transportation between NJ and the NY workshops project total = $2500 ioby fee = $200 total to fundraise = $2700 new project total = $2824 new ioby fee = $226 new final total = 3050


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  • Elizabeth H.
  • Valerie W.
  • Bradley H.
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