Are you an inspired individual who wants to promote change within your community but are unsure of where to begin?
Luckily, there’s no need to start from scratch. Even just in the states around you, there are numerous examples of towns and cities that have begun to revolutionize their lifestyles and relocalize their communities through the Transition movement. While many Transition Towns have projects with similar goals, you can also find quite a few unique initiatives that have been created through the distinct talents and specific interests of participating community members.
Take a look at the diverse ways in which dedicated individuals have worked together to transform their communities from within — ecologically, economically, socially, and environmentally.
With the goal of reducing dependence on fossil fuels and limiting their carbon footprint, the community in Montpelier has created an Energy Descent Action Plan. This plan delineates goals that encompass a wide range of fields, including energy, food, transportation, lifestyle, and shelter.
Specific objectives include increasing consumption of locally grown food to 80 percent by 2032. This will make the transition to renewable energy more economical and will reduce the carbon footprint by promoting the use of public transportation, biking, and ride shares.
2. Wayland, MA
Industrial agriculture and climate change are among some of the most serious threats to the global bee population. Wayland is a unique Transition Town in that it works to combat these threats through its bee-focused initiative: The BEElieve Beekeepers and Friends Group.
This project has a thriving bee yard, resources for beekeepers, and a friendly community for anyone interested in learning more about bees. Members of this group have also campaigned against the sale of bee-killing pesticides at Home Depot.
Local ecology and community education: These are two of the main focuses of the Smithfield Transition movement, which is run by the nonprofit Revive the Roots.
Mowry Commons is a large area of land that is open to the public and includes community gardens and walking trails. Local schools have also helped to create vegetable gardens elsewhere in Rhode Island. Moreover, the Smithfield Transition movement holds events and workshops to educate members of the community about ecology and sustainability.
Transition Newburyport places a particular emphasis on its local economy through its support of the “Move Your Money” project. This campaign encourages locals to move their money from larger banks to smaller, local banks and credit unions, with the aim of strengthening these community financial institutions while divesting from Wall Street banks that have greatly damaged the economy in the past. The website includes a list of recommended local banks as well as simple steps for moving your bank account from your current bank.
Another project designed to revitalize the local economy is the Time Trade Network of Newburyport. Participants in the Time Trade Network offer to help other members in any way that they can — common skills include babysitting, tutoring, gardening. In exchange, they receive Time Credits that entitle them to receive help from other members with different skills.
As part of its Transition Town initiative, the community in Charlotte has begun holding a periodic Repair Cafe, a gathering in which participants get together to use their unique skills to help fix each other’s belongings. During the meetings, people repair everything from clothing and electronics to jewelry and furniture. In addition to reducing waste by prolonging the life of items that would otherwise be thrown away, the Repair Cafe provides an open space in which neighbors can socialize and work towards building a more meaningful sense of community.
"Transition is community based but globally focused."
The above examples are from only a few of the many Transition Towns that are thriving all over the U.S. You can peruse the websites of towns near you, contact their movement leaders, or visit their community meetings for inspiration. There’s nothing wrong with adopting successful strategies for your own community!
Transition is community based but globally focused, and its ultimate goal is to make the world a better place for everyone.
GMC is First in Sustainability!
Established in 1834, and a leader in education in sustainability since the late twentieth century, Green Mountain College has continued its tradition of innovative leadership and applied education by offering the nation’s first online graduate programs in Environmental Studies, Sustainable Food Systems, and Resilient and Sustainable Communities — all featuring the college’s distinctive bioregional approach to online learning — as well as the nation’s first Sustainable MBA.
“The students who come here to learn are able to go into their area and industry of interest and ignite authentic sustainability.”
If you see yourself pursuing a career that’s focused on change and purpose, we hope you’ll consider Green Mountain College as the avenue from which you will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to make a real difference in all social, economic, and environmental spheres of sustainability.