What do we do?
We do practical things and hold events to help the local community move towards being a more sustainable city, whether this is a Community Energy scheme to get public buildings using renewable energy, or support residents to find out more about the environmental impact of their household carbon emissions and take practical steps to reduce this through a Transition Streets programme with other neighbours.
Transition St Albans started out several years ago with a few individuals who saw a way to start making changes in their community and now over 1,000 people follow our blog .
In the past three years we have spent a lot of time organising Sustainable StAlbans Week, in partnership with St Albans Friends of the Earth. We want that environmental sustainability is an integral part of the life of the district, and not just an ‘add-on’.
▪ Food Growing at Home: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.
▪ Transition Streets: Over 150 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 are running another 12 groups in 2014!
▪ Energy: People involved in the Energy Group run Thermal Imaging Camera sessions for people to borrow free – to see how much energy leaks from their houses – so they can learn how to save energy and save money.
In 2013 there was 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.
▪ Awareness Raising: We have ocassional Open Meetings on different topics, with speakers, films and discussion – these cover issues relating to environmental sustainability such as waste, water, energy, electric car clubs, neighbourhood planning, play streets.
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.
Transition Network: We are involved with other Transition groups in the Beds Bucks and Herts Transition Network and we helped set up conferences in 2013 and 2014 as a way of sharing practical ideas and discussion with like-minded groups. In 2015 the network arranged a very successful Transition Network Roadshow in Berkhamsted attended by hundreds of people.
▪ Reading, watching, joining in: Some people are reading books, attending training events, watching relevant films, 400 people have joined our mailing list, others help with the website, nearly 900 people read our blog updates and are Twitter feed.
Local businesses like The Courtyard Café and Lussmans Restaurant are actively supporting the projects established by Transition St Albans.
▪ Local Council: 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
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, HomeGrown Food skill sharing, Energy 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