Transition Now Before It’s Too Late

If permaculture is bringing answers to the awkward questions around sustainability, then community is how we can make permaculture a reality on a meaningful scale. For a brief introduction to permaculture, see my earlier article here.

I’m delighted to report that many communities are now finding their feet and getting off their sofas to do this work, through the Transition Network.

People getting involved in Transition initiatives are coming from every walk of life and with a vast range of motives. The movement itself was begun due to concerns, not just about climate change and the loss of our natural resources, but also about the expected effects of peak oil.

Peak oil is a complex subject, but in a nutshell, demand for oil is growing, and new sources of oil are shrinking. There’s a point on the graph where the economics mean oil prices will sky-rocket. So let’s take a moment to think about what in our lives that would effect.

Tell you what – it would be much quicker to list what it wouldn’t effect. Nothing!

Everything we buy these days is transported, often half-way around the world. In fact, many things are made from materials transported half-way around the world. Then the finished products are transported back again. All this flying or sailing about requires fuel. Then there are the materials themselves. Plastics made from oil. In everything. Then there is the energy to drive the manufacturing processes. Sometimes, admittedly, from coal. Extracted and transported using oil. And then there are the energy-hungry, manufactured pesticides and fertilisers. There are those who believe that if we do not invent the technologies to combat climate change while we can still transport things about relatively cheaply, our options will suddenly become very limited.

So the Transitioners are starting now. Their aim, above everything else, is to build local resilience. What if we grew a huge range of food plants and animals close to home? What if we put back the local butcher, the local baker, and yes, the candlestick maker? What if we made an audit of the essentials in life, and tried to create local social enterprises to supply them? And what if, as shoppers, we supported these local enterprises before going to the supermarket?

It’s not about going backwards, to some romantic pastoral idyll, and giving up all our advances. We can green up the cities. We can connect and share ideas over the internet. There are already many great ideas to be found for greening up our lives, without losing anything of real value.

Transitioners are not waiting for governments to put things right for them.  They’re getting out there and building community themselves. And, rather hearteningly, quite a few councils are getting involved or lending support too.

Cheap energy, cheap food and cheap consumer products have come to us at an  enormous cost to the planet and to the people paid a pittance to produce them. Transition offers us a way to prepare for and begin to live more responsibly. Caring for people, caring for planet, ensuring fair shares for all.

See the video below to find out more about the Transition Movement and what changes we all can make to ensure we have a brighter future.

For more information on the Transition Model, check out the Transition Network website. http://www.transitionnetwork.org/

Image and video reproduced from transitionnetwork.org

Eco-Friendly Holidays in India

Are you a travel aficionado who’s wondering what the latest buzz in the travel spectrum is? Do you think you’d like to go “green” the next time you travel? Or perhaps you’re a “green” traveller who is looking for a long vacation in beautiful countryside? Or a city stressed soul who could do with a rejuvenating “green” break? Then an eco-friendly holiday in the Indian countryside could be just the thing for you. Here is a pick of the top 5 eco-tourist destinations in India as chosen by Indian Travel Writer, Mariam Noronha exclusively for City Connect.

The River Tern Lodge, perched a top a hillock on the edge of the Bhadra River adjoins the boundaries of the Bhadra Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka. Just bask in the beauty of the surroundings and listen to the birds singing and watch the river flowing by or indulge in some activity at the nearby sanctuary. Try a jeep safari to unravel the treasures of the forest, rock climbing, trekking, mountain biking, sailing, kayaking, fishing and star gazing to put in touch with Nature. Or better still set off on a Tyverekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari and visit the Sakkrebyle Elephant camp.

The Leopard Beach Tented Camp, located near Rishikesh on a sandy beach by the Ganga River is a sylvan retreat that holds promise of quiet rejuvenation and hectic activity. Its proximity to Delhi (it is just 250 kms from Delhi) makes it a perfect destination for a long holiday. The perks of a “natural” break in the Leopard Tent Beach Camp include safari tents equipped with comfortable cots, friendly and efficient staff at your service and delectable cuisine, creature comforts that are otherwise unthinkable in the midst of the dense Sal forest. Things to doinclude indulging in adventure sports like rapelling, river rafting, kayaking, beach games, trekking or day long excursions to the nearby Devprayag and Kunjapuri Temple. Go on long walks or just do nothing! An absolute must do for the Beatles’ fan is a visit to Laxman Jhoola and Ram Jhoola suspension bridges in Rishikesh.

The Devbagh Beach Resort near Karwar is a great place to enjoy some quiet time in the midst of Nature, laze around or explore the vicinity of this idyllic locale. A day at the beach is so much fun whether you choose to go for a swim or chill out at the beach at sunset. You could also build sandcastles, collect seashells, or join the kids as they chase the crabs and waves. On other days just laze in the hammock or play some beach volleyball. If you are quite the explorer then go bird watching, visit the harbour or the village to get a glimpse in to a day in the life of the fisher folk and villagers. Indulge in some bird watching or camp at Kali Wilderness Resort at Dandeli. Head to Yana to catch a glimpse of the rock formations or watch the sandalwood carvers at Kumta fashion exquisite artifacts.

K. Gudi (Kyathadevara Gudi) Wilderness Camp, B.R. Hills in Karnataka is a unique destination that blends the allure of a wildlife resort with the charm of a hill station. Certainly a place for the adventurous traveler, it is here that you can expect the unexpected and bask in Nature’s untamed glory. Staying at the log huts in the Camp is a raw and rustic experience albeit with all the trimmings of a destination retreat. The chirping birds herald the start of a day filled with hectic activity where you embark on your sojourn in to the jungles with a jeep safari. Some creatures you could spot…monkeys, crocodiles, the barking deer and lizards. At the end of the day camping out under a starlit sky in the middle of the jungle or bonding with fellow campers over the bonfire will leave you with unforgettable memories peppered with the sights and sounds of the jungle.

Vythiri Resort, Wayanad is an eco-friendly jungle retreat set in a tropical rainforest spread over 150 acres on either banks of a mountain stream. Your accommodation options include heady tree houses, rustic themed cottages built in native style replete with cane and wood furniture, beautiful fabrics and well equipped with modern amenities like jacuzzis, private pools and a suite. An ordinary day here is filled with possibilities: a walk beside the gurgling stream, forays in to the forest to uncover beautiful tropical birds and colorful butterflies, accompanied tours with the resident naturalist to fill you in with all the details, indoor games, outdoor activities at the resort or pure relaxation with Ayurvedic treatments at the spa or chilling out in your cottage. Recommendations include a leisurely walk across the rope bridge over the stream to the restaurant to have a delectable meal with a sweeping view of the forest!

The Nature Resort, located at Kalladi in Wayanad is set in a beautiful tropical rainforest. You can choose to stay in a tree house, cave house or rain forest eco-lodge. Irrespective of which one of the three options you choose your accommodation will boast of eco-friendly materials, equipped with bio-toilets and kitchens that serve up wholesome organic food. Apart from bird watching and trekking an absolute must do is a walking trail.  Breathe in scented wild flowers, marvel at the indigenous plants, enjoy spectacular views of the valleys, spot a spray of color with butterflies and birds…….you couldn’t be closer to Nature. Don’t forget to try the Periyar Tiger Trail which is an absolute must! Importantly, if you want to go climbing there, it is a must to bring relevant equipment such as climbing carabiners.

The Kabini River Lodge rated among the top 5 wildlife resorts in the world by the Tatler’s Travel Guide is an ideal getaway where you can lay back and relax or set off on Nature’s trail. Nestled on the fringes of the Nagarhole National Park against the backdrop of the tranquil waters of River Kabini the resort is perfect for a short weekend trip or a long vacation. The verdant jungles here are home to the elephant and it’s very likely that visitors will spot a herd or many herds of these peace loving mammoth creatures. Trekking, nature walks or fishing are other activities that you could try out here.

Have you visited an eco-friendly locale in India? What did you like best about the place? Would you recommend it to other visitors? Tell us right here.