In Transition, 1.0, part 1 of 6, by The Transition Network, (Rob Hopkins), Dec. 9, 2009
TheTransitionNetwork’s Channel on YouTube (parts 2-6)
updated: April 11, 2012
If you’re wondering what you can do to affect climate change and peak oil, there are campaigns online suggesting ways to cut your personal production of carbon as well as carbon footprint calculators (scroll down) that figure out how much carbon you produce.
Can you cut your fossil fuel use? How low can you go?
1. The No Impact Week, the one-week carbon cleanse, based on the “No Impact Man,” Colin Beavan, (See Beavan on the Colbert Report) who lived with his wife and 2 year-old in NY City for a whole year only buying fresh food, riding bikes, not creating any waste and not using any paper products, including toilet paper! (See NY Times, The Year Without Toilet Paper) And that was on the 9th floor of an apartment building! His conclusion is that changing your habits will not only help the earth but will help you to save money, lose weight, have more time and live healthier and happier.
This campaign has been taken up by the Huffington Post. See No Impact Week at HuffPo and download their No Impact Guide with suggestions for cutting carbon in different areas of your life, one type of change on each day for a week.
The topics for the week are-
Sunday: Consumption- stop buying things
Mon: Trash-stop making trash; reduce, reuse, recycle, [and repair.]
Tues: Transportation- no fossil-fuel-based form of travel. No planes, taxis, cars, elevators. [Carpools, subways, buses and motorbikes might be considered a second tier to attempt to cut. Bicycles and walking is ok.]
Wed: Food-eat only local, seasonal, unpackaged food
Thurs: Energy-unplug, turn it off, power down, go off the grid.
Fri: Water- turn off the faucet, run water gently, soak the dishes, sponge-bathe, flush less, recycle shower water to garden, drink tap water,
Sat: Giving back-volunteer for an environmental organization
Sun: Eco-Sabbath-for one afternoon or one hour, take a break from everything! Don’t buy anything, use any machines, switch on anything electric, answer your phone…don’t use any resources!
2. There is also the UK 10-10 Caampaign begun by Franny Armstrong, the filmmaker who made the Age of Stupid. The Guardian newspaper has taken up the campaign and posts on their website all kinds of information on carbon production with plans for individuals, schools and businesses to cut 10% of their carbon… Check their 10/10 plan below for individuals and download the list for your frig (pdf). [This plan has checkboxes to be "ticked," or checked off, when the goal has been accomplished.]
The simplest way to tackle your 10% cut is to use the 10:10, 10-point checklist:
Here are some carbon footprint calculators for you to determine your own production of carbon in our one and only world:
Footprint calculator-how many planets does it take to support your lifestyle? (create an avatar then watch your world, and your emissions, build)
CO2 emissions calculator -how much you generate and how many trees needed to offset it.
Ecological footprint -area of land and ocean required to support your footprint.
Carbon footprint calculator -UK- house, car, flying, bus, lifestyle.
US Dept. of Energy -ways to save energy with vehicles, buildings, homes, industry
Electrical Energy cost calculator -cost to use lights, appliances, laundry.
Welcome to Transition West Marin, a network of individuals and organizations working towards building local resilience and reducing carbon emissions.
We are working to make our community self-sufficient.
What is a transition town? According to Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition Movement, it is a community that has begun to think about this question:
“…for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of peak oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of climate change)?”
Since 2005, when the first Transition Town, Totnes, UK, was begun, Transition Towns has become a worldwide movement, having currently produced 159 official Transition Towns in 14 countries (more each day), all springing from a “…few motivated individuals who began to think about the challenges and opportunities of peak oil and climate change.”
If you want to learn more about the Transition Movement there are many websites you can visit. Transition Towns’ main website is Transitiontowns.org.
The Transition Towns’ Primer online gives a great overview of the whole transition process.
Transition Towns also has a group, the Transition Network, whose purpose is to coordinate all the towns that are in the process of transitioning. Transition Network has a newsletter which is now online. If you subscribe, they will email you when a new issue comes out.
Another part of Transitiontowns.org is their Forum where discussion groups talk about their progress or problems. Groups such as: events, arts and crafts, business and economics, cities, education and universities, energy, food, health, housing, initiating and awareness raising, inner world and heart and soul, international, local government, transport, and mission, principles, structure and strategy. Even though largely UK-based, these can be a source of ideas for our working groups here in the US.
Other links of interest:
1. Rob Hopkins’ blog, Transition Culture, is http://transitionculture.org/.
2. Transition US, located in Sebastopol, CA is the group formed to network and inspire Transition groups forming in the US. Sign up and get their newsletter.
3. Also, Transition Facebook group has over 2000 members. The group is listed as global.
And, if you haven’t seen the NY Times Magazine article, from 19 April 2009, that told the story of one of the first transition towns, “The End is Near (Yay!)”, here it is. It follows the progression of Sand Point, Idaho becoming a transition town.
Transition West Marin
A network of individuals and organizations working towards building local resilience and reducing carbon emissions