Times they are a Changing (at Transition Towns)

Eric Puro's picture

ThePOOSH.org team just kicked off the tour of England with Totnes, UK, which is a Transition Town in Southwest England. According to Totnes, a Transition Town is a town committed to changing core beliefs and concepts due to the lack of available oil in the future. Ok, so they are moving to become a more sustainable town, but what does that actually mean in practice?

Well, they are trying to reclaim buildings in the city center to use for housing, bread making, local food processing, and development of businesses with the Atmos Project. Over 550 households have got together to discuss and change their use of resources like energy, water, food, packaging, and transport with the coordination of the Transition Streets Project. Now these households are contributing 1.3 tons less of CO2 into our atmosphere a year. With the Food-Link Project you see local restaurants and retailers using and selling produce grown within a 30 mile radius of Totnes. You might not have a banana in July, but the local blackberries here are quite delicious.

You can swap plants through the Seedy Sisters project, and even attend their event “Glorious Glut Gigs”, which I am still not sure what it is, but I am most certainly intrigued. The local Dr Bike can fix your flat and keep you rolling with no gasoline. Just meet him at Civic Hall on Saturdays. Also if you ever wanted to learn Yoga, healthy cooking, how to sharpen those kitchen knifes, or how to weave with willow branches now is your chance -- thanks to the Skillshare Project.

I could keep going and going, but you will just have to come here to see more. It is quite evident that Totnes has a lot going on. One of the most inspiring projects I have seen in awhile is also happening right here. It is named Transition Homes and is run by a great group of sustainable building teachers. They are planning a development of 22 fully sustainable homes built out of locally available renewable resources. So far it sounds like straw bale insulation with cob and timber framing. But Eric, there are many straw bale houses in Europe, what makes this development so special?

This development not only utilizes fully sustainable building practices, but also is incorporating local sustainable food production and pledges to be self-sufficient in energy and power. Shared gardening plots will be open to all inhabitants and PV panels will probably be in abundance to achieve these results. This project is also planned in conjunction with the local officials and will serve as a model for all communities who in the future, want to live fully sustainable. Sounds like a great project to volunteer on!

Watch out for those Totnes Transition Town folks. They are changing how the world thinks about housing, construction, food, energy, and most importantly -- community.