The 11th Hour


7.00pm – Saturday 20th November 2010


Our next event is a film showing of ‘The 11th HOUR’, produced and presented by Leonardo DiCaprio, which looks at the state of the global environment and considers solutions for restoring the planet's ecosystems.

This is an opportunity to meet our neighbours, discuss the issues and begin to explore what we can do together. By building strong community we can become empowered to make a difference.

THE FILM IS FREE - Donations towards costs and LIGHT REFRESHMENTS would be welcome

This is for everyone who cares about local community and global sustainability. We hope to build a group of concerned citizens to become informed about the issues facing our planet right now, such as climate change, economic crises, peak oil, and to find ways to address these together.



Further information : email

Transition Initiative - Wanstead

Click on images to enlarge

What is Transition?

What is a Transition Town (or village / city / forest / island)?

It all starts off when a small collection of motivated individuals within a community come together with a shared concern: how can our community respond to the challenges, and opportunities, of Peak Oil and Climate Change. They begin by forming an initiating group with the intention of engaging a significant proportion of the people in their community to kick off a Transition Initiative. As of May 2010, there are over 300 communities recognized as official Transition Towns in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Italy and Chile and thousands of Initiatives.

A Transition Initiative is a community working together to address the BIG question:
"for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?"

Initially they engage in a creative process of:

  • awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
  • connecting with existing groups in the community
  • building bridges to local government
  • connecting with other transition initiatives forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
  • kicking off projects aimed at building people's understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
  • eventually launching a community defined, community implemented "Energy Descent Action Plan" over a 15 to 20 year timescale
This results in a coordinated range of projects across all these areas of life that strives to rebuild the resilience we've lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community's carbon emissions drastically.

The movement emphasizes the importance of Head, Heart and Hand. Everyone needs to engage at all three levels in order to work co-operatively and to create true community.

The community also recognizes several crucial points:
  • to a certain degree, we all experience a life disconnected from our living environment, disconnected from our communities and disconnected from our landbase
  • that our energy-profligate ways of living have depleted our resource base to critical levels
  • that we used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and that there's no reason for us not to do the same on the downslope
  • if we collectively plan and act early enough there's every likelihood that we can create a way of living that's significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today.
Transition is NOT a process defined by people who have all the answers – it is a social experiment on a massive scale. What we are convinced of is this:
  • if we wait for the governments, it'll be too little, too late
  • if we act as individuals, it'll be too little
  • but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.
The four phases (roughly)

The community self-organises to respond in four phases.

First, the small initiating group starts a programme of awareness raising and hooking up with existing groups. They articulate the rationale for adopting/adapting a transition approach and show the creative responses that the community might embark upon.

Second, as the group becomes larger, it self-organises in groups in all the key areas such as food, transport, energy, housing, education, textiles etc, and creates practical projects in response to that big question (such as community supported agriculture, car clubs, local currencies, neighbourhood carbon reduction clubs, urban orchards, reskilling classes). Most Transition Initiatives are in this phase.

Third, when the initiative is sufficiently competent with these concepts and practices, it embarks on an EDAP (Energy Descent Action Plan) process. This is a community-visioned and community-designed 15-20 year plan that creates a coordinated range of projects in all these key areas, with the aim of bringing the community to a sufficiently resilient and low CO2-emitting state. A very small handful of Transition Initiatives have embarked on this phase.

Fourth, they begin implementing the EDAP, sharing successes and failures with other Transition Initiatives that are travelling the same path. As of June 2010, it looks like only Transition Town Totnes have embarked on this phase - see their Totnes EDAP site.

Maggie Burlington

Eat Well, Live Long

How does the food on our plates get there? What does this have to do with C02 and climate change? What can we do to improve matters?

Over the last 60 years, the systems that supply our food have become hugely dependent on fossil fuels. The C02 emission embedded in the use of fertilisers, agro-machinery, processing, packaging, refrigeration and transportation of food bought in our supermarkets is massive. For every calorie of food eaten in Redbridge, 8-9 calories of fossil fuel energy are consumed in these processes to get it onto our plates. That’s like using a 330ml can of petrol (2,512 calories) to grow and deliver a single avocado pear (295 calories)! That’s simply unsustainable! Even if climate change weren’t forcing us to reduce our carbon footprints, how would we feed ourselves when the oil starts running out?

The good news is that as individuals there are lots of things we can do about it. For example, we can:
  • cook with fresh and seasonal ingredients

  • subscribe to a veg box scheme or join a food cooperative

  • support local food growers, e.g. farmers markets or community supported agriculture

  • choose organic food where we can

  • reduce amount of food thrown away

  • volunteer at a community garden/orchard

  • limit the proportion of meat in our diet

  • grow our own – on allotments, gardens & window sills

  • compost food waste at home or in community schemes

  • share our skills with others and help strengthen our community
These actions can have a great impact on climate change. Over 30% of household CO2 emissions are attributable to food consumption, significantly greater than the quantities embedded in housing, clothing and leisure. And this is an area where we can make immediate, affordable and visible changes. The steps outlined above are also empowering, strengthen local communities and are fun! Even beyond our response to climate change, securing the sustainability of our food supplies should be a priority. After all, the only vital energy resource for our community is food!

Here at Forest Farm Peace Garden, local volunteers are rebuilding a derelict allotment to create a thriving community garden. Designed according to permaculture principles, the garden integrates organic vegetable beds, herb beds, composting systems, a poly-tunnel, community orchard, wildlife ponds, wind turbines, beehives, sustainable library and social areas. Our aim is to build a community of people in Redbridge who can teach & share these sustainable life-skills
Registered Charity Number: 1123031