A key aim of Transition Stratford is to establish practical projects which can help people to make changes in response to the challenges of climate change and peak oil. We are looking to set up programmes of activity that over the long-term will help an increasing number of people to make changes leading to a more sustainable way of living.
To date we have started work on the following projects. Some are still at the design and planning stage, and anyone is welcome to join the teams that are developing the ideas into practical activity.
A number of our projects are being developed in collaboration with other local organisations. We are also keen to help local communities and organisations which want to set up projects or activities of their own.
Encouraging Local Food
Growing your own food provides many benefits. It promotes health through outdoor exercise and the eating of fresh food. It saves energy and carbon through lower food miles and reduces the need for food processing and storage. When people grow food collectively, as on allotments, it can bring communities together and help them to acquire new skills. A priority for Transition Stratford is to encourage people to grow and use local food.
Transition Stratford supporters have started to develop a community garden based on permaculture principles – see Lifeways community garden for more details. We have launched Stratford Garden Share to help people who want to grow food but have no land to link with people willing to share part of their garden. Our Harvest Share, which picks unwanted fruit and distributes it to local groups which can use or preserve it, has saved around 7 tonnes of fruit since 2011, making it the largest scheme os its type in the country!
We have also worked with Stratford Town Council to try to find ways to make more land available for allotments in Stratford upon Avon. Our Land for Food survey identified pieces of land that might be used for allotments, and the Town Council has now brought one of these sites into use for new allotments.
The energy used in our homes and in other buildings is a major contributor to carbon emissions. Making our homes more energy efficient will reduce carbon emissions – and save money. At the same time, we have to find ways to generate energy from renewable sources, such as solar, wind and water, in order to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, such as oil. Transition Stratford has a number of projects which aim to make our use of energy more sustainable.
Supporters of Transition Stratford have been instrumental in setting up Community Energy Warwickshire, a community-based energy co-operative which has raised over £200,000 to install solar panels on roofs at Leamington, Stratford and Warwick Hospitals as part of an innovative link-up with the NHS. To find out more e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01789 290736.
We also organised a half-day conference on sustainable energy for historic buildings with Stratford Town Council and the Stratford Society, and worked with Act on Energy, Warwickshire’s energy efficiency advice service, on a programme of work to improve access to information on sustainable energy for owners of old and historic buildings.
Transition Stratford organised a public meeting in November 2010 to explore ways we could enhance local community trading. As a result of that meeting, a Time Bank was established in Stratford by Gliucester-based time bank Fair Shares in spring 2012, with funding from Orbit Heart of England Housing Association and Stratford Town Trust. Following the withdrawal of Fair Shares at the end of 2013, Transition Stratford has been supporting the establishment of a new organisation, Stratford Time Bank, to keep our local time bank going.
Cutting waste – saving resources
In June 2011 Transition Stratford organised The Really Re-Useful Show – a public event to explore ways to reduce waste and turn the things we throw away back into resources. As a result of discussions at this event
- a food purchasing co-operative has been set up by Transition Stratford supporters
- Transition Stratford ran The Plastic Challenge summer 2012 and summer 2013 to encourage people to find ways to reduce the amount of new plastic in their lives. The Challenge is now open for anyone to take at any time!
- New for 2015 is our Repair Cafe – a social way of sharing and learning new skills and keeping broken household items out of the landfill