Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change (FOR TWELVE YEARS!)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Making the local low-carbon future happen now!

On Thursday 15th March there were two fascinating local meetings which illustrated some of the interrelated aspects of making the low-carbon future a reality.

The first one was held in the afternoon at S Thames College in Wandsworth, and speakers examined ways that the community can anticipate, influence and make the most of initiatives such as the Green Deal.
(TTT has been a partner in a 4 month project organised by the Greener Jobs Alliance). As well as the work experience with S Thames College students, and sharing the excellent activities in local schools, and encouraging the development of the Furzedown Low Carbon Zone, an outcome of the project will be a short video examining some of the challenges and practical responses. The video was premiered on the 15th. When the edit is complete, we'll make it available on YouTube... Oscars look out!
For more information on the project, please email TTT at

The same evening saw a celebration party and an interim thank-you with the many volunteers, partners, advisors and investors who have helped establish the Brixton Energy share offer which is funding the rooftop renewable energy power station in the Loughborough Estate.

They are keen to share experience and learning, and we'll be talking in detail with them to help 'Repowering South London', and explore developing a local project like this that is suitable for Tooting.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

It's Climate Week

There are lots of different ways to support Climate Week: encouraging... taking action... challenging... celebrating... What's yours?

Looking forward to this week, three Transition Tooting colleagues - Susan, Alice and Charles - facilitated a workshop a fortnight ago with a dozen staff in a UK Government department, to contribute a stimulus for the senior director to write a personal blog during Climate Week. That blog has been posted yesterday on the department's internal website: it touches on individual behaviours and choices as well as the department's activities. 

Why invest the time? For context, as in many organisations, there is a range of views and assumptions in this department about climate - and some sensitivity to change. It is easy to underestimate the  potential impact in an organisation of even a simple blog like this that demonstrates awareness, humanity and personal leadership. Clear communication is such an effective way to support change!

What did we do in our workshop? Charles and Susan ran the 'Home Energy' section of Carbon Conversations (the five-part series of meetings TTT has offered locally over the past year), and discussed Susan's own experience of carbon reduction in her own family's house.
Alice captured some of the interchange and questions from participants in a graphic record - also placed on the department's internal web. Here's one of her super drawings, reflecting discussion about Susan's house:

You'll see the mention of the OWL electricity monitoring meter: that is where the senior director starts his blog. Please read on.......

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


I step down after four years as TTT's Co-Chair - an energising and rewarding role. Daunting at times, (what are we doing??? how do we DO this?) and ultimately inspiring on a daily basis to see what incredible opportunities there are to bring about change,  using our imaginations and our wits to invent a more liveable future.  Thankyou thankyou thankyou to everyone collaborating to establish TTT since 2008.  I think we have opened up possibilities for re-imagining a more aware, creative and resilient Tooting.  A warm welcome to Tim Bage who joins Charles Whitehead as our inventive and resourceful Co-Chairs. 

Our TTT AGM last week, gave us a chance to imagine ways in which the derelict chapel in Streatham Cemetery could be used as a community resource for quiet contemplation and re-skilling activities.  Some fantastic ideas came up, from a bio-diversity hub to cinema screenings to bee-keeping to a Passivhaus chapel.  We'll be feeding them back to Lambeth Council who have expressed an interest in seeing the pretty Victorian chapel in use once more.  (Come on the Spring Wildflower walk there on March Sunday 25th 2.30pm with Roy Vickery. See

Transition and the Arts - As writer-artist in residence at Battersea Arts Centre join me for 3 (free) Playing For Time public sessions on March 16th, March 23rd and March 30th (all 5pm-6pm) to look at how the arts play a role in transitioning to a more ecological age.

AND HOW ABOUT THIS for bringing about change!  Lido bins, bought by the South London Swimming Club are now installed at Tooting Bec Lido! 


Thursday, 8 March 2012

AGM Report

Thanks very much to everyone who attended the 2012 AGM on Tuesday evening, in the Vestry at Streatham Cemetery on Garratt Lane. Following the adoption of our new constitution a year ago, this short annual formal meeting:
  • confirms by vote the people who will hold the key roles in helping us achieve our vision and support our projects 
  • hears a statement of TTT’s finances 
  • hears information about TTT’s communications choices, IT profile and users 
  • hears a brief summary from each of our main current project groups. 
The graphic below represents TTT’s structure, roles and current projects, all on a single page:
We are proud of this - thanks Leon! - as it is beautiful, creative, and easy to use image to support visualising and describing our activities and relationships.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

US sustainability students walk the Transition talk in Tooting

24 college students from the USA doing a 'Sustainability in Europe' course based in Denmark came to spend half a day in Tooting on Monday 5th March to kick off a week in the UK.
Their curriculum explores the role of local communities as agents of change towards greater wellbeing and a more sustainable future. This includes getting out into the real world and seeing what people are doing.
Two of us from Transition Town Tooting took them on a talking and walking tour.
Lucky it was sunny...even if there was a freezing wind.
We started at the busy road junction by Tooting Broadway tube, then north to Streatham Cemetery, where we explored the opportunities that the Friends of the cemetery are developing. We went back through residential streets and past Gatton Primary to Tooting Market, where we had snacks by the Brick Box and soaked up the atmosphere. Then into the meeting room at Mushkil Aasaan (thank you!) for a fuller discussion, and on up to Tooting Bec tube via asian sweet shops, and a peek into the Wheatsheaf. Three hour tour complete!
At each place we talked about the students' own first impressions of opportunities for supporting sustainable living in Tooting, and we described diverse existing and future local projects.
In the longer discussion, the students offered very useful observations based on what they had seen, and on their own experience. It was valuable for us, and both humbling and exciting to think that some insights into community and sustainability in Tooting will find their way back to two dozen locations across the USA.
- Charles and Lucy