Sunday, February 7, 2010

Transition Towns

by Richard Crews
There are 275 "Transition Towns" around the world (as of January 2010). These are communities that have decided to live with as much local sustainability as possible. In other words, the local citizens have agreed--as much as they can--to:
(1) use locally grown foods
(2) support local businesses
(3) repair, reuse, and recycle (rather than discard)
(4) reduce environmental pollution
(5) produce their own energy locally, largely from solar and wind sources, while
(6) reducing their personal energy needs.

This often involves finding open space to set up community gardens, establishing business waste exchanges (matching the waste of one industry with another industry that uses that waste), and in some cases even establishing a local currency that is redeemable at local shops and businesses. It often significantly involves education on such matters as composting, recycling, permaculture (growing garden vegetables using no fertilizers other than compost and with minimal water loss, and cycling crops so that the land does not become nitrogen-depleted or otherwise exhausted), and house insulation and other ways to reduce energy use.

The Transition Town movement was created in 2005. There are now Transition Towns in seven countries. And they are not all "towns"--some are villages, council districts, or city boroughs.

The movement was conceived as responsive to two looming worldwide crises:
(1) over the next few decades CLIMATE CHANGE will displace millions of people, and dislocate and disrupt much modern production and transport of goods and services,
(2) PEAK OIL--humanity's oil-for-energy requirements continue to increase year by year while worldwide oil resources are expected shortly to start to decline.

Read more about Transition Towns at--