May 9, 2009

The Transition Handbook, and my next steps

Have you heard of "The Transition Handbook"? It's by Rob Hopkins, and it is sort of a roadmap to get from our current culture of oil dependency and extreme independence from one another to a neighborhood/community resiliency. I haven't read the whole thing, but every time I pick it up I'm inspired.

Today's reading inspired two actions.

First, I'm breaking up with my hair dryer. Now, my hair is not high maintenance. At all. But I do use a hair dryer every day. If I don't, it looks weird. Today I decided that it isn't worth the energy it uses, when my hair will dry on its own, without the use of a hair dryer.

Second, I'm planting more food. We have a CSA share, so I don't need to grow any vegetables. But fruit and nuts are hard to get locally in my area, so this year we're adding to our plums, cherry, apples, and raspberries with hazelnut bushes and strawberries. The hazelnuts are going between our house and our neighbors, where we were planning to plant arbor vitae to act as a privacy fence. Why not get food from our divider? We ordered them today through Badgersett . We've also got a little area of soil between our house and our driveway- you probably have one too. We've got some hostas and various random plants in there now, but I've fantasized about planting something more uniform. My original thought was little evergreen bushes, but then I realized that is the perfect spot for strawberries. They can't take over the yard, because they are blocked on either side, and they will get direct, hot sun for half of the day (not having full sun all day might lower their productivity, but they will still be more productive than evergreen bushes!).

I encourage you to pick up the book from your public library, and tell me, what are you doing to transition away from oil dependence and toward community resilience?


  1. Wow. Living like this makes so much sense when you talk about it! Thanks for reminding everyone that making change, while slow and deliberate, only requires you to think about things before you do/eat/buy them.

  2. Update: Hair dryer experiment failed. I've made a more realistic goal. No hair dryer on weekends. Once I'm successful at that, I'll try the total ban again.