It's a no-brainer to be attacking consumerism.  "Zero waste" is a concept that even massive city departments are embracing.  "Unshopping" is no longer unfamiliar.  People are finally beginning to get that the "Reduce, reuse, recycle" jingle has more than just the final element.  Hooray!

Meanwhile, within the Transition movement, we understand that we must change not only our outer, physical world, but our inner landscape as well.  That means the psychological and spiritual aspects of this great turning within society.  We are faced with changing our outlook, our world view.

I have been inventing, scheduling, and organizing public events for 20 years, 5 of those years in the topics of the Transition movement.  And consumerism is a huge issue -- Consuming events.  I'm not talking about how low-waste your events are.  (At this point in time, striving for low-waste should be second nature.  Striving for powerdown events whenever possible is necessary too.)  Now I'm shifting to the inner landscape:  Do your audiences "consume" your events?

When an international peak oil celebrity comes through Totnes, Rob Hopkins often posts a brilliantly insightful interview with carefully crafted questions and thoughtful interchanges.

Last week, Nicole Foss (pen name "Stoneleigh") came through Los Angeles.  Rather than sitting down for an hour or so of focused interview like it sounds Hopkins does, ours was a multi-day visit unfolding amid the stark realities of our Transition operations.

Nicole arrived on my doorstep a few hours early while I was still scrambling to print future events fliers for distribution at the evening's event, and simultaneously giving my homeschooled daughter a spelling test.  I made lunch while Nicole availed herself of my wifi.  Soon we were dashing off to connect with other members of the Transition LA team, copy the fliers, dress for the evening, then jump into our carpool.  (breathe!)

Written by Kentaro Toyama on May 26, 2011

ALBANY, CA: “Urine, if you dilute it and drink it, is great for your health,” a woman claimed. My disbelief must have registered on my face, because she continued, “I used to do it all the time. It’s good for you!” I wasn’t sure that something that my body works so hard to get rid of should be ingested.

Luckily, Lourdes Gonzaga, the woman leading the group came to my rescue: “Of course, even if you doubt its medicinal value, urine is still great for your garden if you dilute it with water. It’s rich in nitrogen.”

Good day sweet ripplers,

The Long Descent

It was a tiring journey to Italy. I spent the night in the Tel Aviv airport, then took two flights to Italy (via Greece for a cheap flight) and then two trains to Bologna! By the time I got to the hostel and found out they didn’t have food for sale, I was too tired to go find some and instead crawled into my cot and fell into a deep sleep. I felt refreshed the next morning and was excited to see the city and meet new friends. Bologna is an incredibly beautiful city with many in-tact, medieval buildings still being used. It’s home to Europe’s oldest university, established in 1088.

(Thanks to Jim Belcher of Transition Orlando for submitting this piece to the Transition US Community Blog)


At the GreenLife EcoFest on May 22, 2011 in Grass Valley, California, Dmitry Orlov presented "The Twilight of the Antipodes and the Cultural Flip" about swapping the market economy for gift economies, as humans have done throughout most of history.

Some books are hard to read alone.  Titles like “Collapse,” “EAARTH,” “The Long Descent,” and “The Coming Famine” rest on our bookshelves, but don’t always get read.

Harvey (my cousin) was nervous about me going into the West Bank on my own. He was also nervous about going in himself, but he did take me there. Even though Murad AlKhufash, my permaculture contact, assured us there was no worry, Harvey’s biggest fear was about young men stoning the car, given the recent border clashes. Plus Harvey is just a worrier. On the other hand, I was excited to go to the West Bank, to meet a Palestinian farmer, and to experience something very new.
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