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

Monday, 30 April 2012

Hive of activity

On a rainy afternoon in Tooting last Saturday, preparations continued for decorating the piñata bee which will be part of  the 'Treasuring Tooting' wellbeing walk on May 12th (scroll down in this blog for more on the piñata and on the walk...)

What's it going to be like? How big will it bee?
More images to come - keep a look out!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Here are the notes from the April Core Group Meeting

Local Hustings for London Assembly elections

On Tuesday evening, around 80 people gathered at Wimbledon's  St. Mark's Church to ask  four of the candidates for the London Assembly what they would do if they got into power on May 3rd.
The candidates fielding questions were Leonie Cooper (Labour), Shas Sheehan (Liberal Democrat), Richard Tracey (Conservative and current Assembly Member for Merton & Wandsworth) and Roy Vickery (Green).

This excellent meeting , ably chaired by the Rev Clive Gardner of St. Mark’s Church, got far beyond the personality politics of the Mayoral election. Lively questioning included how to make cycling in London safer, what to do about policing, the shortage of affordable housing, whether we need school buses, and how to make London more self-sufficient in energy.

The Hustings was hosted jointly by St Mark’s Church, Transition Town Wimbledon, Wimbledon Civic Forum and Transition Town Tooting.

Spending time designing money

Two workshops on 21 and 22 April provided lots of lovely ideas for the design of the Tooting Pound.

It's early days for the community currency but that didn't stop the heated debates about who should be on the notes - should it be Wolfie (Citizen) Smith or Nurse Edith Cavell on the T£1; Hester Thrale or Samuel Johnson on the T£5 note; an ordinary Tooting mum or an Upper Tooting Road shopkeeper on the T£10; Paul Merton or George Cole on the T£20 note?
The workshops were convened by Sue Rentoul and took place in Sprout, the community arts space on Moyser Road in Furzedown, which proved an excellent venue. Casual visitors to Emma Forrester's show were also asked for their opinion about what the Tooting Pound could look like.
We have some lively lists full of ideas. But the workshops didn't stop there: some lovely drawings were created by budding designers and these will all inform the final designs. Here's one design:
Have a look at the lists of Tooting people, places, objects and animals that participants came up with over the weekend by placing stickers on images, or contributing new ideas:

Monday, 23 April 2012

Growing Successfully in the City

The 'Monthly Do' on Sunday April 22nd at Wandsworth Borough Council’s Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park saw several of us from Transition Tooting join with gallery staff to offer a drop-in afternoon about on ‘Growing Successfully in the City’. Yes - that broad topic included different prompts for the ways ‘urban growing’ is expressed: growing food and flowers; developing green space and experiencing nature; building wellbeing and happiness; growing knowledge and skills; playing; and making new links across the community.
We were lucky to a few hours of sun within a weekend of blustery weather. After a quiet start, 145 people were counted into the Gallery by 4pm. The activities and displays attracted some of them – usually in couples it seemed – to join in:   
Ø  to explore the networks of waste and new social relationships created and recorded by Jane in her Plastic Bottle Tops project
Ø  to pick cards and share ideas, and think of personal actions to take in the DIY Happiness game guided (in the wind) by Belinda
Ø  to play an outdoor Food Footprint game about CO2 in the UK food chain with Charles, using painted boxes from Tooting market
Ø  to make urban-styled seed planters with Li
Just as Charles’ talk on urban growing and transition was about to kick off at 3:30, the sky went black and a strong gust capsized one of the gazebos. All the helpers and audience went out to sort it out in the driving rain – a great image of community spirit in action…
Difficult to plan, but I recommend it as a way to start a talk!  We began with a vivid sense of shared experience among a group who met as strangers: completely relevant to the topic.

Thanks loads to Laura, responsible for Participation & Education at the Gallery, for conceiving the idea and inviting us, and to all the Gallery staff & Justin for a lot of work on the day. The Pump House is a great venue, and we’d love to develop something else together in the future.        Charles

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Well Beeing Project

Local artist team Jeni Walker and Leon Lawes have begun work to create a giant bee piñata that will process with Treasuring Tooting, the Transition Town Tooting wellbeing walk, on the 12th May. At a point on the walk the pinata will be smashed open in the traditional manner, what goodies will come forth is anybody’s guess.

Why a Bee?
The decline in honey bee numbers has been big news recently and the importance of our role in helping the numbers to grow has never been clearer. Treasuring Tooting is a celebration of the things in our local area that make us happy, and this giant bee symbolises the arrival of bees at Streatham Cemetery this May which makes us very happy indeed.
See details of our sister project at the Cemetery at: 

Why smash it up?
The idea to create a piñata as our walk mascot was was initially met with mixed reactions. A lot of work went into the first two celebration creations and this would be no exception.

Our thoughts turned to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of creating complex circular pictures called Mandalas from coloured sand, only to destroy them soon after their completion. The practice is a reminder of the transient nature of material life, and so destroying a beautiful piñata will be an apt expression of the idea that true happiness does not come from the material and the transient.

See the flyer for Treasuring Tooting if you scroll down in this blog.
& more info to come as we make the bee - here and at

Friday, 13 April 2012

Four events between 21+22 April and 12 May

We are very pleased to be able to share details of 4 events that are coming up between the weekend of 21+22 April and the 12th of May
Help shape the Tooting Pound
Design workshops: Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd April, both 11am-1pm
Sprout, 74 Moyser Road, Furzedown, London SW16 6SQ
The Tooting Pound is coming!
Help design your local currency at these workshops:
• who should be on the notes?
• what local landmarks should be on them?
• what colours should they be?
All welcome - families, individuals, all ages.
Tickets for this event are FREE but booking is recommended. Space in Sprout is limited so please make sure you can attend before booking:
More information about the Tooting Pound can be found here:

Growing Successfully in the City

Sunday 22nd April from 11am-4pm

Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park
We are proud to be co-hosting the Pump House Gallery's April 'Monthly Do' in Battersea Park.  All welcome to an interesting and entertaining afternoon in a beautiful location.
It's going to be National Gardening Week, so we decided to get thoughtful about Growing.
Join us to explore ideas of Urban Growing of all kinds including gardening, low-carbon living, growing food and wellbeing.
Make your own planter from recycled material to take home with you, 'play with food' on a giant scale, try some games about personal wellbeing and happiness, and meet members of TTT to find out more about transition's varied approach to community growth.
At 3.30pm Charles, TTT Co-Chair, will talk about the transition movement and different kinds of urban growing. Click on the link below for more information and to reserve a place for the talk:

London Assembly Election Hustings

Tuesday 24th April from 7:30pm

St Mark's Church, St Mark's Place (behind Wimbledon Library), Wimbledon, SW19
In partnership with a group of community organisations,TTT is helping to host a hustings with candidates from the main parties on April 24th.
Wandsworth and Merton Boroughs are represented together by one London Assembly member, and elections to the Assembly are on May 3rd. Assembly members oversee London policy on transport, planning, the environment and policing.
Come and meet candidates from the main parties, and ask them your questions.
Hustings are 8:00-9:30, followed by informal discussion. All welcome!
Partners include the Wimbledon Civic Forum, Transition Town Wimbledon, St Mark's Church, and Transition Town Tooting.

Treasuring Tooting - Treasure in Tooting
Saturday 12thMay
A day-long interactive walk around Tooting to celebrate wellbeing
'Happiness and fulfillment come less from material wealth and more from relationships; less from focusing on ourselves and more from helping others; less from external factors outside our control and more from the way in which we choose to react to what happens to us.’ (Action for Happiness: 2012)
On May 12th we’ll take a free dawn to dusk walk through Tooting celebrating the many places and things that contribute to our happiness.
Following on from the Tooting Earth Talk Walk in 2009, the walk will visit favourite places from the Lido to the Library, Brickbox to the Bingo Hall, at each of which an aspect of our happiness and wellbeing will be experienced and celebrated.
A map will guide us down the road and give timings for each location so people can join at any point. All ages welcome!
Put the date in your diary and look out for more information soon....

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Lovely Graphic of our planning meeting

Transition Town Tooting hold regular planning meetings - all are welcome. To get a flavour of the kind of things we  discuss see HERE the first graphically recorded meeting notes, from our last meeting on the 20th March. This move towards the pictorial - done by Jeni Walker - was inspired by Alice Maggs' graphic documentation of Carbon Conversations...

Locally-made video on community approaches to our low-carbon future

In the post below on 'Community Approaches to the Green Deal', we mention the video that was being made to accompany the project.
Now it's finished and ready to enjoy on YouTube at: 
It's seven minutes long - do have a look, and keep an eye out for the local locations and stars!
The partners in the project are meeting in early May to develop next steps to keep the momentum going.
We'll keep you up to date with progress, and do get in contact via if you would like to be involved.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Snippets from Ecobuild 2012

Ecobuild was again a source of wonder this year.  I liked the re-use of materials such as the pallet arch, rubber band lampshade and some lovely tiles made from impressions in every day bowls and dishes.  And then there was water bottle man publicising the amount of water wasted in the home.

It's always amazing what you can overhear too ...

"Cities are shaped by the environment, economy and equality, and the environment must guide the others".

"We need 'urban respiration' across systems such as food, water, energy, jobs"

At a stand promoting ready-made turf full of wild flowers: "the best way to start is to kill off everything with glyphosate weed killer!"