Sunshine Coast in Transition

Transition Connection for the Sunshine Coast of BC, Canada

Head, Heart and Hands of Transition

The Head, Heart and Hands of Transition on the Sunshine Coast

Submitted by Mary Kay Wyman

May, 2012

This is our Mission Statement:  Sunshine Coast in Transition 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.

The Green Films co-hosted by my Green Team and Sustainable Coast magazine showed  “Transition Town” last October. This is how we started. Towns are being built with great energy and care world wide, there are over 1000 of them. For more information go to http://www.transitionculture.org and Creating an Energy Descent Action Plan from Totnes a transitioning town in Britain.

Each month one of our members will write for this column about what they are thinking, feeling and doing about Transition.  I know in a year from now you’ll be reading more knowledgeable reports from a group member who is a whole year ahead of where we are now. Perhaps, you will be that writer and I am especially proud of what you’ll present.

A goal of Transition Sunshine Coast is to raise awareness for groups of population.  So far, we’ve had a 2 day workshop and established reading groups, Members can speak on Peak Oil, Climate Change,  Economic  realities, Permaculture, Education, Awareness Raising, Seed Sharing and Saving .  Experts like One Straw, TraC and Alternate Energy would possibly fill in gaps as we attempt to re-skill ourselves.

WHAT WE’RE YOU THINKING TO BRING YOU TO TRANSITION?

Economic ruin here is possible. It happened in Argentina when the multinationals pulled out of the country taking the peoples’ money, jobs and assets with them, leaving the country in poverty.  The people formed cooperatives with rules now used by the Occupy movement.  Our food insecurity is a part of our vulnerability on the Coast. In a few days we could provide less than 1/2 of 1% of the food we need without trucks from Vancouver.  There is an urgency to be together and organized so if the ferry docks go out, economic ruin or disaster happens or at least with the steady decline of our present economy we’ll have communities modeling permanent agriculture, Permaculture, and interdependence with small businesses and local government.

Transportation:  While painting my front fence I watched over a few days how many cars leave on 10 minute intervals to our few coast hot spots.

The community looked into getting smaller buses going more places more frequently but there wasn’t the money. I’ve been in the electric cars that actually put good energy back into nature instead of depleting it.  It costs a Leaf, electric car $1. to get here from Victoria on a single charge going 80 on the freeway.  And we already have commercial electric trucks on the Coast getting the charging stations going.

MY HEART

I responded to the caring community transition can create and has created worldwide.  Each person is valued and listened to. Church is the only other place I’ve experienced this.  My heart senses a reasonable future although often I’m overwhelmed with the job of responding in time for the children.  My heart wishes to get more information to the High School kids.  I’m sure some of them already know more about Permaculture than I do. Simon Fraser University has courses in Transition movements and Permaculture.  The Clean Bin, a film about reducing garbage,  costs $200 for one showing and then extra to get the great film makers,  Jen and Grant, over here to talk to the kids. But before that can happen we need permission to show the film from the teachers, probably the parents and maybe the School Board.

MY HANDS in TRANSITION

Transitions I’ve made include cutting off cable last year and newspapers many years ago due to their big business spin, their mindless ads. I saw some of their editorializing to dismiss the OCCUPY movement.  For news, I use:   http://www.thetyee.ca, http://www.democracynow.org, The Monitor, a monthly newsletter at http://www.policyalternatives.ca from Canadian Council for Policy Alternatives. I read about permaculture.  Our Green films’ panel discussions with local experts are sources of information. Of course, I read Sustainable Coast Online Magazine.

Another transition:  I’ve had no garbage for the polluting and burgeoning garbage-truck business for almost a year now. I will put out a cup or two once every four months for items Gibsons Recycle can’t take. No garbage has meant:
I don’t have to get up at 7:30 to take out the garbage,
I don’t waste food, leftovers have to go down the toilet (I only compost raw vegetables, dirt from the vacuum and lint from the dryer),
I don’t eat much meat -no bone recycle,
I don’t buy greens or much of anything in plastic; it’s Kale all winter with chickweed, dandelion, and sprouts,
I eat home-made yogurt instead of cheese as nobody on the Coast sells bulk cheese,
I don’t have laundry detergent especially not in the big plastic containers. I have a Magic Ball in the washer you replace every year or two, this means you just load and run.  Don’t use it for whites that you can’t take out of the washer immediately.

I recycle even the few paper towels I use, dry them on the side of the paper bin, often reusing them, then flip them into the bin when dry.

I transitioned my money from Canadian Banks that received $114 billion in government aid, “By March 2009, government supports to Canadian banks peaked at $114 billion-about 7% of the country’s GDP that year- and amounting to a subsidy to the banks worth $3,400 for every man, woman, and child in Canada.” David Macdonald in the CCPA Monitor.  That’s my money going to the bank and government 2x.  I pay my taxes then spend the rest trying to stop government initiatives like giving away our natural resources while we pay more and more for them. MOVE YOUR MONEY program part of the OCCUPY movement led me to the Credit Union. I also cancelled Master Card. I don’t need to book air travel or subscribe or buy hardly anything.

My hands moving from gardening to sustainable food is slow. I don’t want chickens or rabbits. My soil is seriously getting better but I’m envious of friends who have been using the principles of permaculture for years.  I spend more time getting a sense of myself into planting and nurturing using Gaia’s Garden, Mollison’s or our transition textbooks for problems with pests.

Time use has transitioned from many periods of isolation to working with community in many groups.  This hope and even joy of seeing a vibrant community emerge is what keeps me with Transition Sunshine Coast.

Submitted by:
Mary Kay Wyman

Sunshine Coast resident for 24 years

Retired Teacher and Administrator

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