Thursday, 21 January 2010

More green shoots, including some moss

I received a copy of a great little 12-page community newsletter the other day. It's in French of course, so I'll have to get the dictionary out.

More to the point it's got an article by that Jeremy Light with the Budleigh Salterton connection I mentioned the other day, all about the transition group that he helped to set up in his village in South-East France.

http://budleighbrewsterunited.blogspot.com/2010/01/budleighs-green-shoots.html

Pictured above is the Trièves region where Jeremy lives, situated high in the mountains near Grenoble. It's noted for its spectacularly beautiful scenery as well as for the variety of its wildlife, which includes many plants with medicinal properties.

And by coincidence I noticed that Mossin' Annie from across the Atlantic in the US had commented on the timeliness of the above post which mentioned Transition Towns.

"We just had our first T-Town meeting in Brevard, NC, USA this week," she says, following the Green Drinks gathering that she helped to organize. "We had about 40 people turn out. Brevard is a small mountain town where kids still walk to school and I rarely lock my door." Like Budleigh, really.

"First action task: Local realtor offered space for a community vegetable garden this Spring/Summer," she reports. "Let's hope the synergy continues and the movement materializes into an improved quality of life."

Above: Triple Falls in Dupont State Forest in Transylvania County, NC.

Picture credit: Kathy Hardy http://www.etsy.com/shop/naturephotos



Annie Martin, seen here, is CEO of Mountain Moss Enterprises, based in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina. She designs and creates innovative moss focal features in sustainable landscapes for environmentally-concerned individuals and corporate entities. Her website should offer encouragement to those of us in Budleigh who might otherwise battle hopelessly against weeds and moss on our lawns with chemicals that we know in our hearts are bad for the environment.


She shows that moss can be used for interior design projects as well, at http://wlos.com/newsroom/craft_corner/vid_403.shtml


Picture credit: Annie Martin, Mountain Moss Enterprises
http://www.mountainmoss.com


But back to France, where Trièves Après-pétrole, the group in which Jeremy is involved, was set up in September 2008 on the lines of the Transition Town movement, its name spelling out clearly that the world can no longer rely on a cheap and plentiful supply of oil. 2010, he writes in Les Nouvelles Du Pays, marks the start of a new economic era and the end of an increasingly destructive period of consumerism.

Far from delivering a message of doom and gloom however, Jeremy sees the coming decade as a time of opportunity. Society, he believes, is coming more and more to realise that consumerism does not guarantee happiness. The future should lie in developing human relationships rather than in flaunting materialism. New and important employment opportunities will come in areas such as renewable energy, agriculture and construction, where environmental factors will play a greater part.

On 4 February, Jeremy's group will welcome Danielle Grunberg, of the UK Transition movement, and on 17-18 April Jeremy and fellow-scientist Pierre Bertrand, co-founder of Trièves Après-pétrole, will be at Totnes in Devon for a conference on Transition initiatives. They're hoping to be accompanied by a crew from French TV channel Canal+ which is filming a programme about Transition Towns.

So there we are. Transition towns started in Devon but are sprouting all over the world. For more information see http://aprespetrole.unblog.fr/

Above: The world can no longer rely on a cheap and plentiful supply of oil, says the Transition Town movement. Picture credit: 450 Images

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