Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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19 Jan 2009

Transition on CBS4Denver

Here’s a fascinating clip. As Transition continues to spread across the US, interesting little pieces like this are popping up on US television. I love at the end how the presenter gives the date and time for the next Transition meeting in the town. Now if only we could get that kind of exposure everywhere!

(and here is the text version of the piece, taken from the channel’s website)

Little Steps Add Up With Transition Movement
Lifestyle Changes Can Reduce Dependence On Fossil Fuels

Written by Molly Hughes
Molly Hughes

The recent economic downturn is giving a burst of life to a relatively new way of living. It’s called The Transition Movement, or living “in transition.”

The idea is to transition out of the way you’re living today and in to a lifestyle that is more environmentally friendly, stimulates the local economy and lowers your dependence on fossil fuels. It’s a community-oriented lifestyle based on the principal that all three are interconnected.

The Transition Movement started in Europe and is quickly growing roots in America, with Colorado leading the way.

CBS4’s Molly Hughes spent the day with a woman who is the co-initiator of Transition Boulder. Her name is Stephanie Danyi and she is a trained facilitator of “transition.”

Danyi sold her car 4 years ago. She rides her bike everywhere or takes the bus if the weather is bad. She made the commitment to only buy food and other products that are either grown or produced within 50 miles of her Boulder apartment.

During the warmer months she buys almost all her food at the farmer’s market. She buys her meats at a local farm.

When the farmer’s market shuts down during the winter months, she rounds out her meals with the fruits and vegetables she stockpiled and canned.

She says the only product she has not been able to find from a local producer is salt.

When the transition movement matures, it includes trading or bartering. In this case, Danyi says, “I may trade some jelly or jam for salt from someone in a community that has an excess of salt.”

Through these lifestyle changes Danyi is lowering her carbon footprint on the earth, reducing her dependence on fossil fuels and stimulating the local economy. Living in transition is also saving her a lot of money.

“The average food product travels more than 1,500 miles to get to us,” Danyi said.

Buying only local food is cheaper because there are no transportation and shipping costs added on. She has no car payment, no hefty bill at the gas station and no car insurance premium. But the biggest benefit is that she feels good about being a productive member of her community.

“Transition is about figuring out how to get what I need in my life while taking into consideration where things are coming from,” she said.

Living in transition challenges people to ask themselves, “How much oil does it take for me to get what I need in my life?”

Danyi says these changes have been easy for her, but she is the first to admit most people will not be willing to make the commitment to the lifestyle changes she has. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of the game.

Danyi, who studied biology and has an Ecology degree from Earlham college in Indiana, says transition is a continuum.

“Transition meets you at the point at which you are today,” she says. So, transition may look different for each person.

“The idea is that all these little steps add up to big change,” Danyi said. A change for our community, our country and eventually the world.

The movement is growing. In addition to “Transition Boulder,” the transition movement is forming communities in Denver, Longmont, Loveland, Westminster and Evergreen and there’s also a Transition Colorado group.

(Many thanks, as ever, to Alex for uploading this onto YouTube…)

Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.


Bob Thorp
19 Jan 2:14pm

I still don’t know why TT has not had a major link up with either The Independent or The Guardian to give some backing through all those posters and little booklets that they give away – on Getting Fit etc. The Handbook lends itself readily to being broken in to easily digestible chunks. Also I’ve notice there is lots of transition activity going on that is not part of the TT brand or “initative” or “movement” that needs to be engaged and that may need a step change in getting the message out there.

Steve Atkins
19 Jan 4:16pm

Here’s a recent UK transition related programme:

Transition Town Dorchester & others have been learning things from Pat (she’s lovely, an inspiration & we love her to bits) at Ourganics in Dorset.
Pat teaches permaculture, supplies local produce & has a history of wrangles with planning…

There’s a positive interview with Pat on the BBC ‘The One Show’.

To see Pat…fast forward to 23:00 minutes – at the end of the programme:

p.s…I helped construct the fire bath & I’m really surprised it hasn’t wobbled over…best not mention health & safety eh…

; )

19 Jan 4:57pm

That was fascinating. I grew up in Denver, and I’m actually quite surprised that this station gave the movement such positive coverage…it never used to be that kind of place. I think the economic downturn is going to be really good for the movement–suddenly all kinds of things that people would have never considered doing, like growing a lot of their own food, is looking or will start looking pretty appealing!

Dana Miller
20 Jan 3:23am

Dana Miller from Transition Denver here! Thanks so much for posting the TV piece…needless to say, we were thrilled here in Colorado. CH 4 is interested in doing more on Transition, so we will keep you posted!
Our events are generating huge interest….we did a panel on growing food locally recently – and we got close to 200 people!

20 Jan 11:11am

Excellent to see such positive media coverage – we could do with more like that here in the UK.

Thanks to Steve for putting up the link to the BBC One Show about Pat – is there a website for more info on Pat’s place – it looks great!

20 Jan 1:03pm

Steve, she’s moved the bath – It’s near the hut for the winter now. Can’t say I blame her!

Steve Atkins
21 Jan 8:53am

good idea, and so perhaps the bath did topple over?… hope she wasn’t in it at the time.

Then again I didn’t notice Pat limping on the programme so i guess she must be ok!

Steve Atkins
22 Jan 9:23am

Hi Martin… I’m not sure if Pat has a dedicated website for Ourganics? I found this:

Here’s another place that was broadcasted by the BBC yesterday:
to save on electricity i suggest… Fast Forward to 16:30

Tasty looking fish that!