We will be on-line for our next event to discuss “The Flip”, a film that explores how we might move on from the shock of the Coronavirus Pandemic to develop a more resilient and sustainable society. We will be starting our online conversation about the film at 8.00pm on Monday 11 May 2020, and expect to finish around 8.45pm. Please note the different date and time!
If you would like to join us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This will help us gauge interest and means that we can send you a Zoom invitation for the event. To participate, please watch The Flip in advance of the meeting, and be ready to share your thoughts on the night.
As events overtake us, we have been thinking about how we can respond positively to the lockdown, so that we come out of the other end stronger and more resilient. In a matter of days, many orthodoxies have been turned on their head, particularly the idea that the state is powerless, and that there is no money to make changes. Governments across the world have been willing to take dramatic action to tackle the virus, and we may hope that they show the same resolve with the long-term threat of climate change. The globalised system that allowed coronavirus to spread needs replacing with a kinder, more sustainable, more local way of living.
Here are some positive things we can do while we are in lockdown.
Embrace Active Travel
Walk or cycle whenever possible. The streets have never been emptier nor freer of pollution. Create the time to make short trips without the car. While you are out, listen to nature.
Cycling in London is very safe, and can greatly improve your fitness and wellbeing. London Cycling Campaign has excellent resources to help you return to the bicycle, including plenty of advice on how to make your riding technique better.
Grow Your Own Food
You would be amazed at what you can do with just a couple of square metres of garden or suitably placed window box. Runner beans and courgettes are easy to grow and will give you a great crop. Garden Organic is full of resources to help you get started, including a calendar of what you can be doing now.
Green Your Finances and Home
Change to a green energy supplier. Ask your pension provider if your pension is invested in fossil fuels and try to change to renewables. Research simple energy-saving upgrades to your home such as draughtproofing, insulation or solar panels so you are ready to go when the lockdown ends.
Ealing council offers a free Healthy Homes Ealing programme, which currently includes an energy advice and a Green Doctor telephone consultation service. The telephone consultation is an outbound service, so when a resident makes contact, they will speak to a booking administrator who will assess their interest and suitability for a telephone consultation.
Many people have already reached out to neighbours. Why not use these new connections to organise collectively, on a street-by-street basis? Could every street recycle its own food waste, making useful compost? Could resources like tools, ladders or mowers be pooled? Could every street run a car pool or install a bike bunker? Could every street have its own ‘street warden’?
Imagine A Better Future
Catch up on some films and books about practical responses to the climate crisis, and discuss with your friends. Some of these are available free, some may cost a small fee.
We are suspending our regular meetings in response to the coronavirus outbreak. We hope that all of our members will stay safe and well. In the meantime, stay in touch with us via our web site, our facebook page, by email and by twitter. Feel free to set up your own virtual groups and initiatives and connect with us. We’d love to hear from you.
The Transition Network focusses on community – specifically communities coming together to solve problems and build resilience. That message may seem ironic during a period of social distancing and self-imposed isolation, but there is no contradiction – we can still remember our neighbours, and use phone, email, and social media to stay connected and support each other. We can also use this time to think about how we would like our communities and national life to change for the better.
One of the guiding principles of the Transition Movement is ‘imagination’: reimagining and rebuilding our world for the better. The coronavirus has shown us that we can work together nationally and globally to meet an urgent challenge. It has also showed us that our current way of life is vulnerable to disruption from the smallest, most unpredictable of causes. It has provided opportunities for the better angels of our nature to organise and support vulnerable members of the community.
Once the coronavirus outbreak has passed, there will be a need for rebuilding and regeneration. At that time, let’s be ready to demand policies and actions that preserve the health of our communities, our environment and our planet.