Transition Streets Launches National Roll-Out

 

 

Transition Streets National Roll-Out: Neighborhood resilience program launches!

 

At the crossroads we’ve reached as a civilization -- facing existential challenges like climate change, peak oil and economic instability -- it has become clear that transformative action is needed. Sometimes, though, we don’t know where to begin.

 

We’ve been encouraged by many of our great teachers and leaders to “think globally and act locally” -- but what does that look like? What can we actually do on a local level to respond meaningfully to these crises we face as a people and planet?

 

Transition Streets, which has just launched its national roll-out, offers a valuable approach to answering these questions in our communities, empowering everyday people to come together to meaningfully lower our carbon footprints, conserve water, reduce waste, and strengthen our neighborhoods.

 

A project of Transition US, the Transition Streets program provides local groups across the country with tools for implementing powerful, grassroots transformation on a neighborhood level. It’s simple: A handful of neighbors get together for 7 meetings, and that's where most of the magic happens.

 

At each gathering, the group explores low-cost (and no-cost) action steps presented in a user-friendly handbook, which result in reduced waste, lower energy and water usage (accompanied by lower bills), and the growth of healthier and more resilient local food systems, watersheds, and communities. Between meetings, group members implement those action steps.

 

To facilitate the national roll-out of this program, Transition Streets has announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign intended to raise $15,000 to share with local groups nationwide in an effort to bring this project to at least 100 neighborhoods (over 500 households) across the country.

 

Transition Streets has already successfully piloted programs in twelve neighborhoods, with beautiful results: sixty-four households (from Berkeley, CA, to Newburyport, MA; Bozeman, MT to Charlottesville, NC) have witnessed the power of neighbors joining together to imagine and create more sustainable, resilient, and livable communities.

 

 

While neighbors work together to reduce waste, conserve water, and gain new skills, it is actually the strengthening of community ties that many pilot participants have reported as the most rewarding aspect of Transition Streets. In Berkeley, for example, neighbors who had lived in the same area for years (even decades) finally got to know each other, to see each other as friends and resources, to teach each other skills and help each other with household projects.

 

And, as Transition Streets participants have shown us, acting locally can start us on a path of effecting even greater change. Transition Initiatives in Charlottesville-Albemarle, VA, and Bozeman, MT, for example, are exploring ways of incorporating Transition Streets into city-wide sustainability efforts. And against the backdrop of the California drought, the Transition Streets group in San Diego has gotten a lot of attention from the media for their community-based approach to water conservation (check out these stories on NPR and KPBS).

 

 

Conscious people who think globally are encouraged to act locally by joining in the national launch of Transition Streets by supporting and sharing the project’s crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

 

With this campaign’s revolutionary “Keep It Local!” funding policy, donors to Transition Streets can opt to send 75% of their net contribution to local, official Transition Initiatives interested in starting Transition Streets groups of their own. More information is available here.

 

Transition Streets was originally developed by Transition Town Totnes, UK, where more than 500 households participated and saved an average of 2600 pounds of carbon and $938 on their energy bills each year. In 2014, Transition US brought the program to America and piloted in a dozen communities. Now, Transition Streets is ready to take root in towns all across the country.

 

To bring Transition Streets to your neighborhood, support the National Roll-Out Crowdfunding Campaign at http://igg.me/at/transition-streets. To learn more about the program and its early successes, you can also visit the new http://transitionstreets.org website, where can download the 100+ page handbook and access other useful tools that will help you succeed in bringing your neighbors together to address the great challenges of our time.

 

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