I’ve long been a fan of Transition Town principles. Finding new, more sustainable ways to live seems logical as the alternative is, literally, unsustainable.
In my student days, I was a member of LETS: a skill-trading network. In Brighton, I got involved with the local food partnership, and started clothes swapping parties with friends (along with upcycling, sewing and crafting).
This summer, I started to get more involved with Transition Loughborough, visiting the community allotment each week (health allowing), weeding, going to meetings, and learning more about what they do.
I now have plans to create a herb spiral at the allotment, with other community members providing the digging and building skills that are beyond my abilities.
I’ll then plant it up with herbs for cooking and toiletry making, and provide recipes and tutorials so people have simple ideas for things they can make.
One of the joys of the community allotment is that we can share skills, so my physical limitations don’t mean I can’t contribute. In addition to weeding, I write, take photographs, help with marketing and supporting social media, and use my office-based skills to help the allotment grow. And in return, I get food and fun.
The more I’ve got involved, the more I’ve loved about Transition Loughborough. From free apple leather, raspberries, flowers, vegetables, and chocolate on one lovely occasion, to relaxed conversations with fellow nature lovers, Transition Towns offer a glimpse of a different way of living.
It’s a great way to meet likeminded people, particularly at this time of year when there are several events coming up.
Last week, I helped out on a Transition Loughborough stall, spreading the word about their next Potato Day. This allows local gardeners to get a great range of British potatoes at a bargain price by ordering as part of a buying collective. We had allotment-fresh raspberries available to lure people…
There’s also a seed swap when people come to collect their potatoes in January. I love this idea and am already collecting and drying seeds (including wildflower seeds for the pollinators. The seed heads can be decorative too).
Transition Loughborough works closely with the local Fair Trade organisation, who were also at the event.
They have a Fair Trade Fayre coming up soon, with lovely ethically produced products to buy.
While I’m not a big consumer, the glass rings and pretty boxes caught my eye. I’ll be adding the date to my diary to stock up on ethical gifts (the football is apparently the world’s only Fair Trade football).
I also learned about a new tea drinking initiative, Charnwood Chai, encouraging people to connect across cultures.
If you want to get free food, make new friends or change the world, look into Transition Towns: there are lots to choose from worldwide. It’s time for change…