Transition Sunshine Coast CANADA is part of a global network that inspires us all to imagine and create a vibrant future that has alternatives to fossil fuels. We embrace building local resilience which is ecologically sustainable while nurturing and celebrating our community.
Rose, Thorn, Bud
As the northern hemisphere approaches the dark of the winter solstice, peoples of various cultures pull together in solidarity to eat together, exchange gifts, reflect on the year gone by, anticipate the year ahead, and generally reconnect. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwaanza, or the solstice itself, this time of year is about a great deal more than shopping and consumerism; it's about community, about connection and re-connection, giving and celebrating abundance, looking back and looking forward, being cozy and together in the dark and cold of aphelion, most distant from our sun.
In our house, at dinner, we have a tradition of sharing our Rose, Thorn, and Bud - "RTB" as my 6-year-old calls it. Your Rose is something you are thankful for, your Thorn something you didn't like, and your Bud something to which you are looking forward. This December, the SCiT can look back on many great "Roses", from the Transition Streets project to the Robert's Creek Free Market, the great transition cafes, many excellent speakers, innovative ideas and conversations, and a real sense of connection with others in this amazing community. As for the Thorn, I think for many of us the biggest issue would be the glacial pace of social change. It's easy to be impatient. However, this impatience leads well to the Bud, anticipating the coming year of applied projects, innovation, and collaboration.
Transition Streets Update
Langdale is the first neighbourhood on the Sunshine Coast to launch phase one of the Transition Streets Pilot Project! On November 23rd, neighbours from seven households met with project coordinators in a home on Smith Rd to complete the first Orientation Session. As shown in the collage above, they shared delicious food, lively discussions and an exciting sense of possibility. Transition Streets is a collaborative project with Sunshine Coast Conservation Association. For more info: see our website Education page.
Transition Cafe: Spinners and Weavers
Members of the Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild shared their stories and expertise on fibres at the November 18th Transition Cafe at Gibsons Wheatberries Bakery. Deanna Pilling gave an amazingly informative presentation on their Fibreshed Project as she talked about the steps being taken on the Coast towards a sustainable clothing & textile industry. The audience watched a lovely video about local Icelandic sheep that are being bred for wool in West Howe Sound and got to see and touch a wonderful display of fibres.
POWERFUL: Energy for Everyone
In the movie “POWERFUL: Energy for Everyone,” (shown recently by Green Films in Gibsons and Sechelt), David Chernushenko, an Ottawa City Councillor, takes us on an exploration of renewable energy in Germany, Sweden and Denmark.
We hear about 100% renewable energy regions, and see idyllic villages powered by sun and wind, with a checkerboard of solar panels adorning the red-tiled roofs of colourful houses, fire stations and daycare centres. We see towns and cities designed for people, not cars.
“We can do it ourselves ... and that is very liberating.”
- Josef Pesch
We learn that there are communities that own the renewable energy installations that generate their power, rather than relying on a distant corporation. In Germany alone, there are 800 energy co-operatives.
This revolution may not be as easy to see in Canada, but there are now several such co-operatives in Ontario, like the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op. In BC, the T’Sou-ke First Nation has been named Canada’s first Aboriginal solar community, and the Cowichan Carbon Busters have made a historic bulk purchase of solar panels.
P.S. If you missed this inspiring movie, it is available at the Sechelt library.
The Gift Economy
This holiday enjoy the gift of time and presence with one another. Consider sharing and swapping time or owned objects rather than purchasing to fulfill certain expectations. How great does it feel to receive something handmade by a loved one? Or how sweet would it be to receive something from someone you love that they cherish and have owned for some time?
One of our learnings over the summer with the SCiT Free Market is just how much resonance intention has in our transactions. The idea of making each dollar spent a vote for what to support in this world. And also how rewarding it is to upcycle, recycle repurpose and share objects.
If there is temptation to spend, perhaps consider supporting the Story of Stuff Project, or a grassroots campaign such as ReInhabiting the Village: Co-Creating Our Future or buy local. Supporting local artisans, crafts people and food producers can be quite rewarding as it contributes to community connections and localizes the economy.
With love as a core intention, presence really is the present we can all hope to give and receive.
photo header: December Collage by Leonie Croy, with photos courtesy of Dana Wilson, Mortal Coil Media.
Contributors: Leonie Croy, Cathy Hannick, and Dana Wilson