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The quirky little things that work, that don’t work and the reasons why.

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The Transition Town Initiative, an Effort Towards Sustainable Community Living

Nicole Chayka with Tamara Sunsong of Transition Victoria, at a Potluck Gathering in 100 Mile House, 2011, image by Monica Holy

In spring of 2011 a small group of people in 100 Mile House, B.C. threw together a pot luck dinner and assembled in a private home to meet and learn from Tamara Sunsong of Victoria’s ‘In Transition’ Group to talk about ‘transitioning away from oil dependence.’

Transition Victoria, a Transition Town, part of the Transition InitiativeTransition Culture, part of the Transition Town InitiativeTransition Network , part of the Transition InitiativeTransition United States, part of the Transition Initiative for Transition Towns
A Grassroots Movement the world over called ‘Transitioning Towns’ is taking this peak oil thing seriously.  The objective is for neighbours to come together to share ideas and create action plans to deal with the times to come.

We ourselves decided local Food Sovereignty was paramount.  We organized a Canning Party, and partnered with others to support our Meat Co-op by sharing Organically Raised Animals for our freezer this fall. Individually we each committed to growing a Garden and I found a supplier of fruit and nut trees able to thrive in our zone 2-4 growing season.

Although we ourselves don’t own land we have partnered with someone who does and are arranging to plant Fruit and Nut Trees to create a Small Orchard. By sharing the expenses, work and Harvest together everyone benefits.  Do what you can and see where that takes you.

Transition Network , part of the Transition InitiativeIf you would like to get a conversation started in YOUR neighbourhood no matter how big a town that might be…go to their website where among other things you will find the following:

“Transition Towns is a global grassroots movement supporting citizen action toward reducing fossil fuel dependence and building local community resilience and ecological sustainability.”
The Transition approach to energy descent is based on four assumptions:
1.    Life with less energy is inevitable and it is better to plan for it than be taken by surprise.
2.    We have lost the resilience to be able to cope with energy shocks.
3.    We have to act for ourselves and we have to act now.
4.    By unleashing the collective genius of the community we can design ways of living that are more enriching, satisfying and connected than the present.
In other words – we are all part of the solution.

Transition Towns apply six key principles to help them engage citizens with all kinds of interests in taking action to strengthen local resilience:

a)    Positive visioning – creation of tangible, clearly expressed and practical visions of the community beyond its present-day dependence on fossil fuels.
b)    Building partnerships and alliances – thinking of Transition as the glue or as a way of connecting the dots among stakeholders and organizations.
c)    Inclusion and Openness – making efforts to meet people wherever they may be on their path to resilience, in ways that encourage participation from the head, the hands or the heart.
d)    Building visible alternatives on the ground or “make it real” – working groups and their projects are key to acting out this principle.
e)    Inner transition – recognizing the challenges we face are not just caused by a mistake in our technologies but as a direct result of our world-view and belief systems.
f)      Letting it go where it wants to, or self-organization – this important principle means working with everyone so change happens at the most appropriate, practical and empowering levels; it means making plans but also being open to letting things evolve in unexpected ways; and it means that things happen when and as people step forward to make them happen.”

Check out these Links for further information:

Transition Victoria, a Transition Town, part of the Transition Initiative

Transition Victoria:

Transition Network , part of the Transition Initiative

Transition Network:

Transition Culture, part of the Transition Town Initiative

Transition Culture:

Transition United States, part of the Transition Initiative for Transition Towns

Transition United States:

Photo Credit: Monica Holy

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