Thursday, December 31, 2009

Transition Town Totnes, UK

I recently visited Totnes, UK and fell in love with the little town. I only walked down Fore St and High St, yet saw so many great things happening. To a visitor, one cannot tell what 'transitions' are happening except to get a little taste of the base-level social transformation happening in this little town. After trying to visit the Totnes Transition Town office and finding them closed I followed others in and out of locally owned and operated shops, feeling a nice vibe from the community. I am not sure what type of economy Totnes has, whether it is tourist-based, but somehow the town supports a great vibrant market economy. Small local bookshops, natural food stores & markets, shops spilling with organic furnishings, clothes and bath & body, bakeries, craftsman and art shops, galleries and second-hand stores to name a little line the streets. I wondered, "what is happening here, to support these people and these livlihoods?" Is this a basic tourist town or a town that has something special happening?

There's a lot of small acts happening in Totnes to make it feel special, like "Sacks," a traditional small "mom & pops" wholefood shop which has kept a beat since 1976, now nestled between swanky hipster art shops.
Love Local Food is something I didn't see, because it is a mobile shop- but can see how it fits right into Totnes. Love Local Food is a social enterprise and not-for-profit business supporting small farmers and Totnes local food systems. It's a great idea to spread in other towns!
Totnes has the Totnes Pound Project ongoing to help reinforce and support a localised economy. And over the next 12-24 months, Totnes aims to create an Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP), where the community wants to transition from fossil fuel dependence to 100% renewable energy technologies.
Totnes Mission- A Mission for Every Town
To explore and then follow pathways of practical actions that will reduce our carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.
To build the town's resilience, that is, its ability to withstand shocks from the outside, through being more self reliant in areas such as food, energy, health care, jobs and economics.

If you're still interested visit Transition Town Totnes or Reconnect UK online

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