Sunday 11 July 2010

Green shoots in Hethersett

On Friday we had the first meeting of the Hethersett Circle. It was a beautiful evening and I biked first to Eileen and helped carry her amazing raspberry and chocolate fudge cake around the field to Erik’s house. We were joined by Gary and Rhoda who are both very aware of Peak Oil and Climate Change – in fact we all arrived by foot or bicycle. Gary has been active in the Hethersett Environmental Action Taskforce (HEAT) for some years and Rhoda is a keen cyclist and vegetable grower who has followed TN since the unleashing. Whilst it was good to have got a group of knowledgeable people together it was clear that our publicity had not attracted people who are new to Transition to come along and that we were not going to be following the original plan to have a series of meetings based on Carbon Conversations. So we talked about what our next move might be.

We all recognise that an import aspect of Transition is that it is a positive message – not all ‘Doom and Gloom’ as Eileen said. Eileen also compared the current economic system to the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes and how we need to expose the truth. However, several people made a point that I have heard before at TN meetings - that Transition is a difficult concept to pin down and to communicate to others.

Our next step will be to have a Carbon Conversations Corner at an environmental awareness day that HEAT is organizing. HEAT has access to good publicity in the village and it seems sensible to work together. Today was an Open Gardens day in Hethersett which I went to (and which is why this post is so late) – people are given a map and walk from one garden to another. We talked about doing a similar event based on energy saving devices and methods as people are much more likely to engage with something that they can see already working in their own village. An example could be Rhoda’s battery assisted bicycle which makes it much easier for her to commute to work without having to completely change clothes on arrival. She still provides the energy but the battery evens out the effort – it levels the hills in effect! Erik hopes to soon be generating electricity from a Photo Voltaic roof.

I was encouraged to see these vegetable patches being exhibited as part of the Open Gardens day – one is at the Junior School where the teachers are keen that the children should learn that food does not appear on supermarket shelves by magic. So a lot is already happening in Hethersett, our task is to build on those foundations. Please feel free to comment !

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