Seattle is blessed by hosting a wide range of creative and committed individuals and groups who are willing to push the envelope of what can be done to create a more sustainable City. Think carrying freight on sailing ships is no longer practical? Meet Ballard’s Salish Sea Trading Cooperative.
The Salish Sea Trading Cooperative relies on wind to deliver locally produced goods by sailboat, traveling between Seattle, Port Townsend and other points around Puget Sound with cargoes that range from fresh produce from Dharma Ridge Farm in the Olympic Peninsula for their associated Community Supported Agriculture baskets to Theo’s Chocolate for the Port Townsend Food Cooperative, and even a cargo of cedar delivered across the Sound to Seattle in November. Some of the products they deliver here are distributed by bicycle, further reinforcing their low-impact model!
The Cooperative is a non-profit, and the financial model is challenging. But, relying on existing boats and lots of volunteer energy, they are pioneers of a new model for restoring traditional sustainable models, using modern appropriate technology. Check out their website at:
As they note in their most recent newsletter, the United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. Seattle is home to a wide range of successful cooperative enterprises, including many prominent ones like Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI), Group Health, and Puget Consumers Co-op (PCC). There are many smaller enterprises, like our strong network of Credit Unions and Central Co-op (Madison Market), and a whole range of new cooperative ideas that are being developed, like Salish Sea. Seattle’s cooperative movement is well-grounded in Seattle’s values of environmental stewardship and sustainable development. Celebrate the International Year of Cooperatives by checking out some of them and getting involved!