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

Monday, 30 April 2018

Carbon Conversations - First Session April 26

In our first session we discussed some general issues around climate change such as responsibility for the problem and what a low-carbon future would look like.

On the issue of responsibility we thought about individual vs structural change. We agreed that individuals do hold significant power through their consumer choices. However we also recognised that people can only take actions within certain frameworks of possibility (eg they can only use public transport if these services are provided; they can only use community-generated energy if the political system supports and encourages such endeavours). So of course there are limits to individual action.

We also brainstormed what a low-carbon future might look like. We wondered what legal frameworks might be developed to ensure that our carbon footprints were lowered. In the absence of such frameworks, would people's individual morals be enough to keep all of our footprints down? This is a thorny issue which governments are reluctant to touch, because it would involve imposing carbon quotas upon people, which could be unpopular.

We also thought about whether we would have such a strong sense of seasonal change in the future, given our changing weather and how the availability of produce all-year round makes us more immune to the seasons. We also wondered whether, if people have smaller families, this would lead to more people living communally, in order to find a sense of community which they wouldn't get from having a big family. Finally, we had a mind-bending discussion about self-drive vehicles, which felt like science fiction, but apparently is a fast-creeping reality!

Friday, 27 April 2018

Restart-Sewstart Party Returns on May 13th

Join our fixing and mending workshop with May's Restart and Sewstart! Whether it’s electrical or electronic items that you don’t want to throw away or a sewing machine that is broken or you’re not sure how to use, we can help!

Have a favourite piece of clothing that needs mending or altering and you’d like to learn how? Or simply good at fixing and mending stuff?

Or maybe you fancy a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a chance to find out more about Transition Tooting and what we get up to?

Come along on Sun 13th May - 2.00 - 5.00pm Mushkil Aasaan, 220 - 222 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7EW (next to Nando’s)

(Restart Parties are a community self-repair space where you take responsibility for your own gadgets and data, so please don’t forget to take any back-ups beforehand, if relevant – and if possible arrive during the first two hours to allow time for fixing!

More info about Restart          More about Transition Town Tooting,
email TTT here     TTT on twitter

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Is Capitalism the best system for a sustainable future? Tooting speaks!

On Wednesday 18th April, Tooting Green Drinks played host to our first debate! Why run a debate? This was an experiment to engage more people and look beyond our (albeit wonderful!) usual hard working suspects. And it was to explore some of the more divisive areas of sustainability.

It worked! 40 people (ish) came along to join in our first debate on...

"Capitalism is the best system for a truly social, economic and environmentally sustainable future"

Standing Room only! 
The evening showed there is huge energy for ideas exchange in Tooting. We'll definitely be planning more debates in the future, hoping to engage head, heart and hands by way of an invitation for us all to become active in Tooting.

What would you like debated? Answers in the comments below please!

Did we assemble a room full of raging anarchists, ready to march on Westminster? Or were the challenges of sustainability just another problem to solve by Capitalist innovation, motivated by profit? Read on for the lowdown on how the evening unfolded...

Monday, 23 April 2018

The simple invitations of our 'Signs of Welcome' workshops have brought vivid, compelling and complex results. More to come, please join in!

It's TTT's tenth anniversary, and we're facilitating ten free, fun, thoughtful and creative 'Signs of Welcome' workshops locally, along with our partner CARAS. We're in diverse venues that are themselves welcoming and interesting spaces to visit: cafes, shops, local enterprises.

We're half way through - five workshops completed since March and five more in the next few weeks.  
All welcome! 
See the TTT events calendar for all the dates and details. 

The NEXT 'Signs' workshop is in the wonderful surroundings of the Wandsworth Oasis shop at Amen Corner on Friday 1st June from 4:00-5:30. 
That's at 234-250 Mitcham Rd, Tooting SW17 9NT.
Have you ever done a creative workshop in a shop? Was it as amazing a place as the Amen Corner Oasis shop? You'll have time to browse....and it's half term, so all the family can join.

We have lots of 'Signs' in many languages - all responding to this open question: "What would you like to say to welcome people who are new to the community?"

They've been fascinating sessions which everyone seems to appreciate. Expressing ourselves, meeting others, making it visual and being creative by 'thinking with our hands' is a very powerful mix.

A brilliant and valuable extra is that young people from the CARAS youth club have been joining in to gain volunteering experience co-facilitating a creative community session. 

There's been inspiring communication across the cakes and mint tea on the cafe tables. Young people who are refugees and asylum-seekers have enjoyed friendly venues they may not have considered visiting, and met many local people they would not otherwise have encountered.  

Throughout there's been interwoven threads of self-expression plus a two-way invitation to ask questions and share experiences.

We have a vivid record of the sessions in the shape of the Signs themselves. They'll be included in a local exhibition during Refugee Week, June 18th-24th: details to come. The materials for the Signs are re-purposed from publicity boards from the wonderful Work and Play Scrapstore. We had one of our workshops there, and met this Japanese architect who joined in (with a translation on the back):

These workshops are part of our partnership with CARAS throughout 2018 - the partnership purpose throughout the year will be to facilitate events which draw refugees and asylum-seekers and the local community closer together. For more about the year's projects, please click here, and there are lots of pictures on our TTT Facebook pages. 

Many thanks to the partnership funder ThriveLDN, an initiative by the Mayor Of London .

Monday, 16 April 2018

Can Capitalism be Sustainable?

On Wednesday evening this week at the Selkirk, Tooting Green Drinks presents a thought-provoking debate on whether:
“Capitalism is the best way to achieve a truly social, environmental and economically sustainable future”

In the UK we all live in a capitalist system,
"An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state". Source OED

This system may currently provide us with all sorts of lifestyle advantages, but does it do so at the expense of the environment, democracy and human rights?
Dave Darby
Oli Grffiths

Dave Darby founder of of, will seek to persuade you that there are alternatives to an economy driven by profit. Chartered engineer Oli Griffiths will seek to support capitalism's sustainable credentials.  More on our speakers here.

Please come along!  Weigh up the arguments, ask a question, meet others who are interested in discussing what a sustainable solution for humankind might look like. We look forward to debating with you!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Future Tooting! Local Air Quality and Energy Efficiency event, Saturday 21st April

Have your say on local air quality and energy efficiency at Future Tooting!

All welcome on Saturday 21st April 2:00 - 5:00 pm
At the United Reformed Church, Rookstone Road, Tooting SW17 9NQ

We have teamed up with local campaign groups to host an event on air quality and energy efficiency in Tooting, with speeches from local politicians and a chance to put your questions to the local representatives. 
Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan will speak on the day, and representatives from the major political parties will join a discussion chaired by London Assembly Member Leonie Cooper.

We are creating a space where:
  • local people of all ages can come and have their say
  • you can find out more about how air pollution and dirty energy production are affecting all our lives
  • you can explore what we can do about it
Drop in to find out more about local and city-wide initiatives to measure and limit air pollution, the use of electric buses and local renewable energy.

There will be stalls and activities for all ages from 2:00 pm, speeches start at 3:00 followed by live music from local singer songwriter Sherika Sherard.

For enquiries, please email

Future Tooting is organised by:
  • Furzedown Low Carbon Zone
  • Transition Town Tooting
  • Wandsworth Environment Forum
  • Community Renewable Energy Wandsworth
  • South Thames Colleges Group

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Capitalism Debate April 18th

TTT & Tooting Green Drinks proudly present:
“Capitalism is the best way to achieve a truly social, environmental and economically sustainable future”

Find yourself in an echo chamber tailored specifically for you? Does your Facebook feed reinforce your opinions, back you up every step of the way and leave you dumbfounded when life doesn’t play out the same?

Capitalism is the underpinning formula for much of what we enjoy today, particularly in the so-called “developed” world. Our basic human needs of shelter, food and water are met with a competitive market giving us the best service at the best price, driving industrial creativity to come up with solutions to all our problems at a scale that can soak up all the pressures of population increase, freak weather events and a changing political landscape. Even the challenge of climate change is met square on by industrial innovation in the shape of giant wind turbines, sucking carbon emissions out of the air and non-fossil fuel cars that fire you down the High Street in style. Meanwhile saving for the future in a global capitalist market structure maximises your investments whilst the cost of stuff just keeps on coming down ...

But … hold on ... a truly sustainable future is about more than just economics isn't it?  Who gets left behind in capitalism's raging wake? Top-down hierarchies mean we need “a nation of doers, not thinkers”. Leave it all to the market and will you actually get cheaper and better? Zero-hours contracts and the threat of a privatised health service indicate life could be much worse for many. And what about the environment? Global resources are there to serve the markets, surely? And if economics is the prime driver, does anyone care about the waste that a linear system produces?

On Wednesday 18th April, Transition Town Tooting will be holding a debate on Capitalism. Is it really the best way for us to reduce our impact on the environment and adapt to an already changed global climate? We have 2 wonderful debate Captains in Dave Darby ( and Oli Griffiths and will be running it like a proper debate with opening statements, rebuttals, an opportunity for you to make your points and challenge Dave and Oli before closing statements., all in the wonderful confines of the upstairs room at The Selkirk in Tooting.

We challenge you to be challenged! Encourage you to speak with opposing points of view! Reinforce your standpoints or have the courage and humility to change!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Awe and Wonder: TTT after 10 years

Earthrise - and planting a flag on the Moon
50 years ago, Apollo 8 launched out of Earth’s orbit to circle the moon.
Perhaps unexpectedly for us all, the ramifications of this adventure emerged from the moment astronaut William Anders announced ‘now we are going to turn the camera around and show you the Earth’. The historic image Earthrise was the first picture taken of Earth from space, showing our blue planet alive, dynamic and more beautiful than anyone could have imagined.

The awe and wonder of being able to see the Earth from space has inspired generations of humans ever since: we went to the moon but discovered the Earth. Not the intention anyone flying 250,000 miles to the stars had started out with but possibly the most important reason we did. (Its impact on astronauts is captured in this astonishing film - The Overview Effect)

The two events together triggered a new enlightened self awareness for humans: the chance to look back at ourselves and reflect on our relationship with our home planet.

A new movement of environmental global actions followed: Friends of the Earth in 1969, Earth Day in 1970; the Clean Water Act in 1971; the Environment Protection Agency; the banning of leaded petrol in 1973 and every environmental action, campaign and initiative that has followed - leading to the UN COP24 Climate Summit in Poland this December.

Planting a flag in Tooting
During the last 10 of these 50 busy, self aware years, initiators of Transition Town Tooting have been planting their own flag in terra firma here in Tooting - land of Tota the Saxon King. Their 'TTT flag’ proposed a call out to anyone interested in learning how a community can make change in how they live, where they live, to create a more sustainable, just and liveable world. Along with the rapidly growing Transition Network worldwide, they invited others to join in the ongoing experiment to see if communities could find themselves creative and capable beyond their wildest imaginings.

Here in Tooting it seemed to work 
It's been a roller coaster decade doing, making and learning together.  We look back in awe and wonder to marvel at how far we have come.  We have scrolls - soon to be unfurled once more - adding year on year not just the events and initiatives that have happened but the points at which we all joined in. We showed what marked our highs (and sometimes lows) and how these have influenced our own lives and learning.