“The Transition Trail to Resilience” illustrates the steps our local communities can take to transition to living with climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy and oil.
I was inspired by first developing “The Permaculture Path to Sustainability” which deals with how individuals and households can transition to a life with a smaller footprint on the earth.
I then wanted to expand these issues to encompass a community wide scope and take on the perspective of the Transition movement.
Several years ago, I was introduced to the transition town concept with the book The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience by Rob Hopkins. I walked around in shock for a few weeks and then fell into denial (I later found out that this is a very common reaction). Recently I was unable to ignore the signs and I rediscovered the movement with their new book The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times also by Rob Hopkins, which really brings alive all the exciting and innovative ideas bouncing around the world.
I enthusiastically joined my local Transition group and then discovered differing levels of awareness. I wanted a way to capture these great ideas and create a clear plan of action for the group.
I started by collating some of the common elements found in a transition town and then I divided them into different categories. The categories are the ones we use in our Transition group (your group may have different ones).
I then sorted the elements out in to levels. Each level reflects an increase in the level of difficulty, commitment and/or expense.
- Level 1 is what you may find in a young transition town.
- Level 2 are practices and elements found in a more mature transition town.
- Level 3 are practices and elements which are found in local communities dedicated to resilience, self-sufficiency, and sustainability. The citizens proudly view their local community as a system.
I love to see concepts come alive as a diagram, so I created a table to illustrate “The Transition Trail to Resilience”:
|Building and construction
|Business and economy
- Energy Resilience Assessment
- Locally owned energy-supply companies (ESCOs)
- Solar power buying group
|Food and Gardens
- Food coop
- Food swap
- Garden Share scheme
- Seed saving group
- Organic markets
- Community orchard
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
- Land Trust
|Fauna and flora
|Local learning and education
- Book club
- Film nights
- Reskilling workshops
- Newsletter, website, facebook, and twitter
- Community Centre
- Plastic bag free campaign
- Salvaged wood depot
- Tip Shop
Where is your local community on “The Transition Trail to Resilience”?
Is your local community doing well in one category and neglecting another?
(Note: Health and Water are two other categories our group uses).
This transition tip idea comes from Mark Boyle in his book called The Moneyless Man – a year of freeconomic living.
As part of living without money for a year, he got a notepad and listed every single thing he consumed
“I called this my ‘breaking-it-down’ list. To structure my thoughts, I categorised my list into food, energy, heating, transport, entertainment, lighting, communications, reading, art and so on. The list eventually took up half the notepad – and that was the list of someone who considers himself quite a moderate consumer….
“It became clear, after just a couple of pages, that most of the stuff would involve me having no more than one degree of separation from what I consumed; either I would make it myself or know the person who produced it.”
“My list-making enabled me to establish my basic level of subsistence, the things I really couldn’t do without, and my priorities for the rest.”
The Moneyless Man
– by Mark Boyle
Transition tip: Participate in a clothes swap
- Rehash – a fashionable way for you to trade your clothing, accessories, and books with others online.
- Swap-O-Rama-Rama is a clothing swap and series of do-it-yourself workshops in which a community explores creative reuse through the recycling of used clothing.
- Swishing – To rustle clothes from friends
Have you participated in a clothes swap?
Transition tip: Participate in a free gifting system
There are a number of free gifting systems around, with Freecycle perhaps the most well known. Using a website or email group you can give away things you no longer need or ask if anyone has something to give away that you’d like.
These schemes promote waste reduction and help save the landscape from being taken over by landfills.
Have you had any experience with a gifting network?
Transition tip: Request some transition resources for your local library
Self-sufficiency and permaculture
Do you have any other suggestions for good transition resources?
Transition Brisbane aims to support the city transition from oil dependency to local resilience.
It is a Hub of the Transition Network, which is a world wide movement to support community-led responses to peak oil and climate change, while building resilience and happiness.
Here is a list of the Transition groups and initiatives in the greater Brisbane area:
- Enoggera Transition
- Samford Green Street
- Scenic Rim Transition
- Sandgate Transition Town
- Sustainable Jamboree – based in the Jamboree Ward of Brisbane and surrounds (all are welcome)
- Sustainable Redlands
- St. Johns Wood Sustainability – St John’s Wood
- Transition Ashgrove
- Transition Annerley – Annerley, Fairfield, Moorooka, Fairfield, Tarragindi, Yeronga
- Transition Bardon – The Grove, The Gap, St John’s Wood
- Transition East – Balmoral, Bulimba, Camp Hill, Cannon Hill, Hawthorne, Morningside, Norman Park, Seven Hills
- Transition Kurilpa – Highgate Hill, Hill End, South Brisbane, West End
- Transition The Gap
- Transition The Grove – Arana Hills, Ferny Hills, Ferny Grove, Grovely, Keperra, Upper Kedron
- Transition Town Kenmore – The Pullenvale Ward; Anstead, Bellbowrie, Brookfield, Chapel Hill, Kenmore, Moggill, Pullenvale and Upper Brookfield
Please note these groups are run by volunteers and some are still in the start up stage.
Join us online: http://www.brisbanetransitionhub.ning.com/
Transition tip: Create a Personal Energy Descent Action Plan (PEDAP)
A Personal Energy Descent Action Plan (PEDAP) is a plan for dealing with Peak Oil and climate change at the family or household level. The aim of the plan is to head towards a more localized, lower energy and sustainable lifestyle. A family may get together and have a brainstorming session about their goals and ideas on how to achieve this.
- Start with some butchers paper, coloured pens and some paper stickies
- Across the top divide the page up into 20 years including 5 year increments to cover the next 20 years
- Down the left hand side add the following categories:
- Emergency Preparation
As you come up with ideas add them to a paper sticky and then place them in the time frame when you think they are achievable.
Add some of the transition tips or personal household preparation suggestions as appropriate.
Don’t forget to document the plan (perhaps typing it up) and celebrate your success. Have some fun with it.
Have you created a Personal Energy Descent Plan yet?
Sacred Economics is a short film by Charles Eisenstein on money, gift in an age of transition.
In keeping with one of the main themes of the book, gift economics, Charles has made the full text of the book Sacred Economics available online as a gift.
In honour of Clean Up Australia Day, today.
Transition tip: Conduct a disposable audit of your home.
You could go through your house and do each room at a time, and through out this week start to thinking about how you can replace some of those single use items, or disposables.
- dog poo bags – replace with a Dog poo compost box
- paper towels
- plastic cutlery and plates
- plastic fruit and vegetable bags – replace with reusable produce bags
- plastic shopping bags – replace with fabric bags or Envirosax reusable shopping bags
- sandwich wrap – replace with reusable lunch wraps
- sanitary products – replace with reusable sanitary products
- takeaway chopsticks
- takeaway coffee cups – replace with a Keep Cup
- tissues – replace with handkerchiefs
- toilet paper
- wrapping paper – replace with fabric gift bags
What disposable products are you going to replace?