The Transition approach will help Berkeley to envision and create a future with more locally produced food and other necessities, cleaner forms of transportation and energy. Along the way, we'll build a more equitable and vibrant local economy and re-learn practical skills our grandparents once had.
Join us and discover just how powerful the collective genius can be when people work together!
Date: Thursday, March 6, 7-9pm, Refreshments: 6:30pm
Location: Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists’ Hall, 1924 Cedar (@Bonita), Berkeley. Wheelchair accessible.
Cost: Suggested donation $5-$10. No one turned away.
Our last event took place on Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Location: Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists’ Hall, 1924 Cedar (@Bonita), Berkeley.
Over 50 people came to our February movie night to celebrate Transition Berkeley’s 3rd Anniversary with a potluck dinner and the film In Transition 2.0. Vic Sadot, our host from the BFUU, got the evening off to a great start singing his original songs. To celebrate Valentine’s Day with gratitude for groups that help our community and environment, we addressed Valentines to favorite local environmental groups. The Ecology Center garnered the most Valentines, followed closely by the 350.org. We are incredibly lucky to live in a place with so much caring for the well-being of our community and planet.
After the film, guests from local Transition Towns outlined the activities of their groups. Rebecca Newburn from the Richmond Rivets spoke about the Seed Lending Library at the Richmond Public Library and the Emergency Preparedness Program - Two Steps a Month. Kendra Shanley and Chong Kee Tan from Transition SF reported on a new local currency called BAY BUCKS, partnering with local businesses. Loni Gray spoke for Transition Albany on a host of projects, from the Permaculture Garden at Memorial Park, monthly Potlucks with a Purpose, DIY Home Remedy training, the ARTS and GREEN FESTIVAL, and a new headquarters opening at Albany Arts Gallery.
Uplifted by the film, showing Transition Towns around the world tackling tough problems with community team work, and inspired by the progress of our local Transition Towns, people stayed on to discuss how we can move forward to build a more sustainable community. People came up with ideas for new projects to pursue as part of the Transition Movement, or signed up to serve on one of the current committees, Outreach, Communications, Movie Night and Crop Swap.
Please keep in touch with Transition Berkeley events by signing up for the Digest (email firstname.lastname@example.org), checking back at this website, or better yet, coming to our next Screening the Green movie night on March 6, at the BFUU Hall.
This will be the third year that Transition Berkeley hosts our fabulous crop swap at Ohlone Park, across from the North Berkeley BART. In the winter, swaps are held the first Saturday of the month, and everything from books and clothing to homemade jam is swapped. Our next swap will be Saturday March 1st, 10:30am-11:30am. In the summer, when more crops are available, swaps take place weekly on Mondays evenings, 6:30pm-7:30pm. We invite you to join us at Ohlone Park, and encourage you to start a swap in your own neighborhood.
Here are some tips for successful swaps, submitted by Carole Bennett-Simmons
1) Get a great story in the local press ahead of time (Berkeleyside or media of choice)
1a) Work with a small group of committed people so no one needs to work too hard
1b) Be reliable and consistent - holding your swap the same time and place every week is great if you can, so people come to expect you to be there and it's part of their routine
2) Pick a site that is:
- convenient to bike and public transportation routes
- very noticeable to large numbers of the public
- wheelchair accessible
- has water available - in the baseball field in our case
- has some shade if it is hot weather
- is green, has trees, nature because gardeners love that
- has plenty of room for visiting and relaxing together during the swap
3) Label the areas you want people to put their crops in - we had vegetables, herbs and delicate items on two long tables and fruits and potted veggies on blankets on the grass - the fruits didn't roll off the tables and looked great arranged on the blankets.
4) Put in some homey touches that are green - we made cloth drawstring bags labeled Crop Swap out of recycled curtains, they were colorful, had inexpensive jute for drawstrings, and illustrated a way that people can save on paper and plastic bags - we asked people to use the bags for collecting small items like fruit to take home and bring the bags back next time they come to the swap.
5) use the creativity of the group to create signs out of reused materials - we had two fabric artists in the group so we made signs out of recycled cloth A huge sign very visible on a main street from an old white curtain with maroon letters from an old sheet. At the swap site we had cloth signs Barbara Edwards created on curtains with loops so they were easy to hang - a huge carrot and a turnip out of scraps of fabric like a collage. We hung them between a pole and a tree.
6) Involve the youth - Jessica did most of the announcing for us one week. She is the daughter of one of the organizers and is doing outreach to youth.
7)Take lots of pictures and display them wherever you can.
8) If you think your group is too large to comfortably select items all at the same time you can make the process more leisurely (and fair) by having swappers pick a playing card when they place their produce in the swap. The order of the card then gives an orderly way for participants to come to the tables. For example, call Ace, 2, 3 etc and the folks who have aces came up together, the twos next and so on.
9) Make friends with neighbors that live near the swap site - you may be able to borrow tables from them or store your tables at their house so you don't have to bring them each week. That way the organizers of the swap can come to the event on foot or bike.
MONEY & LIFE- Films & Discussion
Over eighty people turned out for the Money and Life film January 2nd that was cosponsored by Transition Berkeley, Essential Knowledge for Transition, Slow Money Northern California and BFUU’s Social Justice Committee. Slow Money cofounder Marco Vangelisti was the featured guest speaker. He explained the complexities and deficits of our monetary system and fielded a wide spectrum of comments and questions by impassioned viewers. Below are some ways we can all learn more and be involved with community planning on this crucial aspect of our transition to a sustainable future.
1) Marco Vangelisti invites everyone to visit his website: http://ek4t.com and learn more. Essential Knowledge for Transition is a three part curriculum providing the essential understanding of the money and banking system (http://ek4t.com/curriculum/money-and-banking/) the economic systems (http://ek4t.com/curriculum/economic-system/) and the financial system (http://ek4t.com/curriculum/financial-system/), their impact on our communities, intervention points and alternatives being pursued around the country to shift them for the benefit of communities and ecosystems. You’ll also find a thought provoking blog at the site (http://ek4t.com/blog/) in which Marco shares personal insights. You can sign up for EK4T newsletter and find Marco's upcoming speaking engagements on his website http://ek4t.com
2) Those interested in learning more about local investing might want to join the Slow Money Northern CA chapter activities. Find out more at http://slowmoneynocal.org/. The next regional meeting will be on Monday February 16th.
3) Raines Cohen of East Bay Co-housing attended the film and invited everyone to learn more about alternative economies at an event in Oakland on January 10th titled Mass Effects: A Night of Collectives, building the Solidarity Economy at the Sudo Room 2141 Broadway from 6 to 11:45 pm. Info at http://www.meetup.com/ebcoho/events/
4) Wednesday, Jan 15, at 7:30pm Richard Wolff will give a talk titled: Economic Crisis and System Decline: What We Can Do at the First Congregational Church Berkeley, CA Radical economist Richard Wolff recently exploded into the forefront of progressive thinking in the United States with his brilliantly insightful book Capitalism Hits the Fan, which chronicled Wolff’s growing alarm and insights as he watched the economic crisis build, burst, and dominate world events. His analysis differs sharply from explanations offered by politicians, media commentators, and other academics.
Stuff happens and planning for resilience is super helpful. Transition Richmond's Rebecca Newborn invites you over the next seven months to join her in creating an emergency response plan in your own community - family, friends, neighbors, place of worship, book club... however you define community. Rebecca created an easy to do program where all you need to do is 2 things a month and over the course of 7 months, you have a very comprehensive emergency preparedness plan. By doing it and engaging your neighbors and others, it will create community in the process and more resilience if we face a disaster.
The first month is about having an emergency contact list and an
evacuation/reunion plan. The first thing folks want to make sure of is that the folks they love are okay and they have a plan to reunite. Here's a video about Month 1 steps, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxI69Bp5cZI. If you go to Rebecca's website to Month 1, http://2stepsamonth.wordpress.com/month-1/, then you
can download the emergency contact sheet.
Also, each month there is a tip of the month. This month's tip is "Always keep your gas tank at least half full. Half is the new empty." The reason is that in an emergency pumps may not work and if they do, there may be a run on fuel and little refill opportunities. It's good to have enough gas to get out of town if an evacuation is necessary.