Marketing | Environment | Culture

GoalZero Recycling: Social Enterprise Inside a Nonprofit

At the confluence of mission, competencies, and culture, Goal Zero recycling advances the sustainability efforts of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado.

Just getting started, Goal Zero is extremely clever in its origin at this confluence. And the alignment is clear.

Social Enterprise Inside a Nonprofit


Each year, Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado serves more than 100,000 people in 31 counties by partnering with more than 300 agencies in order to “bridge the gap between hunger and abundance.”

The stated mission: “to provide food, partnering opportunities, and education to combat hunger and food insecurity in Southern Colorado communities.”

26 of the 31 counties they serve, which run border to border from Kansas to Utah across the entire width of New Mexico, are rural.

Service area map:
Care and Share, Food Bank, Southern Colorado, counties, Colorado, hunger, nonprofit, service area, map

Over the past several decades, Care and Share has built competencies in partnerships, operations, logistics, and transportation. The incredible quantities of materials they handle requires a vast, well-managed network of activities.

Across that service area of 52,000 square miles, they distribute nearly 20 million pounds of food each year – 16 million meals. Their refrigerator: 9,000 square feet! Their pantry: 50,000 square feet. Again: more than 300 partner agencies.

The numbers, lists, activities, and relationships are, again, vast. It all requires careful coordination and operational excellence.


Serious stewards of their resources, Care and Share has built a culture of sustainability.

Their facility is LEED certified Silver.

For more than a year, they’ve been working with Future Pointe L3C to build a Zero Waste program. They’re now diverting 92% of solid waste from landfills to proper use. Food, cardboard, metals – it’s all getting new life.

Care and Share, Southern Colorado, Colorado, Food Bank, waste, recycling, cardboard

The natural, aligned extension of this effort is Goal Zero, a for-profit social enterprise born of the mission, competencies, and culture of Care and Share.

Below is the concept, visualized. You can see clearly how Goal Zero fits within Care and Share.

Care and Share, Food Bank, Southern Colorado, Colorado Springs, recycling, Goal Zero, Zero Waste


Successful revenue generation based on what they’ve learned in their zero waste effort, on what they can harvest from partners and the community, and on what they can teach partners and the community enhances the sustainability of the food bank overall.

Helping feed people, employ people, and reduce waste? Awesome!


Here’s a bit of that story capture in a Colorado College project:


The Bottom Line

My only goals here are to introduce the concept and express my excitement.

I love that this effort is coming to life and am honored that I’ve been invited to participate on the Board of Directors. I look forward to listening, learning, and contributing to this project.

Click here to learn about their recycling efforts.

Click here for a recent Annual Report.


Goal Zero, Care and Share Food Bank, Colorado Springs, Southern Colorado




  1. Kathleen Oliver

    Congrats! You’re the perfect choice for the Board. Zero waste is practically your middle name. Perfect marriage of issue and person for the job.

  2. Stacy Poore

    We couldn’t be more excited to have Ethan on our new GoalZero Recycling Board of Directors. Thank you Ethan for your enthusiasm and leadership!

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