Transition St Albans is a community-led initiative that is working to move St Albans towards being a sustainable, low carbon community that can withstand the challenges presented by climate change and spiraling fuel/energy prices.
We aim to imagine and start to create a community in which future generations would all want to participate. A future to look forward to – but this requires change – a transition – away from an unsustainable way of life to a new idea of sustainable community.
We think that the best place to start the transition is in our own community and the best time to start is now.
Transition St Albans is a place for people to come together, volunteer, roll up their sleeves and make it happen. The community – for the community, runs it.
The Power of Just Doing Stuff
What do we do?
Transition St Albans started out several years ago with a few individuals who saw a way to start making changes in their community. Gradually more people have become involved with different projects taking place and over 800 people following this blog…
▪ We have a food group who share ideas and inspire others to grow food at home and in the community with the Home Grown Food Skills Sharing sessions running from April to September and the OpenFoodGardens programme where food gardeners open up their home gardens to visitors in the summer months.
▪ Over 120 people have taken part in our Transition Streets projects to learn with neighbours about energy, transport, water, food and recycling. One streets project has started a community film project, and another is working on a community food growing area. With funding from the District Council and the Co-Op Membership Fund we plan to run another 12 groups in 2014!
▪ People involved in the Energy Group are setting up a Community Energy Project to get community investment into local renewable energy projects: in 2012 and 2013 they ran the ‘Energy Saving Homes’ weekend for people who have made energy efficient changes to their homes to share with St Albans residents.
▪ Food Smiles: local food for St Albans have established a local community food project – using land at Hammonds End farm the group are set to grow organic fruit and vegetables – by the community for the community! This Community Supported Agricultural project is to closer engage food growers with the people who consume the food. An event in 2013 attracted over 60 interested local people including farmers, restauranteurs and food producers. In April 2014 they secured land to start the project! In May the group was constituted as a separate body, and continue to work as partners with TSA.
We were involved with other Transition groups for the Beds Bucks and Herts Transition Network conferences in 2013 and 2014 as a way of sharing practical ideas and discussion with like-minded groups.
▪ Some people are reading books, attending training events, watching relevant films, over 300 people have joined our mailing list, others help with the website.
- Local businesses like The Courtyard Café and Lussmans Restaurant are actively supporting the projects established by Transition St Albans.
▪ The council’s sustainability strategy notes that the council will work with Transition St Albans to help build sustainability in SADC and the Sustainability Officer is supporting the Food Smiles project
All industrialised societies run on the assumption that our high levels of energy consumption, our high carbon emissions and our massive environmental impact can go on indefinitely. Rational thinking about our energy supplies, economic inequalities, diminishing levels of well-being, our ecological crises and the climate chaos that is already hitting millions of people tells us this can’t go on much longer.
An opportunity to rethink how we live
These challenges provide an opportunity to rethink how we live and to make conscious choices about what kind of community and world we want to live in. We believe it is better to design changes that are beneficial to the local community than wait to be surprised by the effects of climate change and peak oil.
Imagine a community abundant in local jobs, warmth, food and power, where children eat healthily, pensioners are warm in winter/cool in summer, and not alone. Imagine high streets full of local shops run by local people, every garden with a vegetable patch, every home a place that is wealthy but needs practically no oil or gas. All the money in the world cannot make this happen. Our quality of life is in our own hands.
Our intention is to work together to promote waste reduction, recycling, local food production and sourcing, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and stronger community networks.
To do this we try to involve the whole community – residents, businesses, public bodies, community organisations and schools. We aim to be inclusive, imaginative, practical and fun, and to build a local community that is more interconnected, resilient and self-reliant.
How can I find out more and get involved?
Email info @ transitionstalbans. org and ask to join the mailing list and get the monthly email newsletter
▪ You could come along to one of our monthly ‘Open Meetings’ which have speakers on different subjects such as Food Growing, the Green Deal, Water, or Energy. The meetings are friendly and informal with refreshments, with the opportunity to have a chat and talk informally to other people who are involved in different projects in Transition St Albans.
▪ Look out for other events like Open Food Gardens skill sharing, Energy Saving Open Homes events or our occasional special film events and come along.
- Meet other people involved at the monthly Green Drinks in the Blacksmiths Arms – see the Events page
▪ If you have seen something you want to get involved with, please contact us. Transition St Albans grows with the people who join in. Some people just like to come to the talks or films, others get involved in projects such as food growing, or the Energy Group, or a Streets project – it is up to you!
Look out on the website for more information about upcoming events and our Facebook page has regular updates about local projects.
YOU CAN ALSO VISIT
▪ THE TRANSITION CULTURE BLOG BY ROB HOPKINS, ONE OF THE FOUNDERS