Tag Archives: Transition Houston meeting

Permaculture goes mainstream, hope rises

Sometimes little things give hope that progress is possible, and that maybe “if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time,” to quote the Cheerful Disclaimer.  This last week the little thing for me was the discovery of permaculture by the New York Times.  Now, I’m not so naive to believe that seeing permaculture in the mainstream press is going to make a lot of difference immediately, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see a surge of interest in permie classes across the country with long-term benefits to both participants and the environment (FYI, classes are offered here in Houston by the Permaculture Guild of Houston, through Urban Harvest).

I think the important point is that awareness is growing in our country:  awareness of our ecosystem impacts, awareness of the lack of sustainability in our lifestyles and economy, and also awareness of that which is missing in our lives–community, connection, purpose.  Permaculture is a positive response to that growing awareness, as is the permaculture-based Transition movement.

There are a couple of opportunities to join with others in our Transition Houston community this week and next.  Please avail yourself of these options to increase your awareness and find connection with a community of folks working for a resilient Houston region.

Transition Houston Hub meeting, Tuesday, August 2, 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Green Film Series Presents Blue Gold: World Water Wars, Tuesday, August 9, 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Transition Houston Hub meeting, Tuesday, August 2, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
We hope to see you at Tuesday’s Transition Houston meeting, which will feature a guest speaker in addition to news from the Transition Neighborhoods and Action Groups.

We are very fortunate to have Peter Wang, League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor, as our guest speaker.  Peter is considered a local biking expert.  He’s everywhere as a go-to guy for media interviews about bikes, and has been involved in a lot of bicycle issues.  He is risk-averse–exactly the kind of guy you would want to help you practice being safer!–and has taught a lot of these safety classes.

Peter will present a video screening followed by a discussion. The video is Enjoy The Ride, about essential bicycling skills.  It will provide straightforward instruction for checking over your bike, bike-handling skills, and riding confidently in traffic.   The video is based on principles of the BikeEd curriculum developed by the League of American Bicyclists.

TOPICS COVERED

  • pre-ride checklist
  • bicycle handling skills
  • riding in traffic
  • identifying & avoiding hazards
  • riding in all conditions (night, rain, hills)

We will also have updates from our Neighborhood Initiatives and Action Groups.

As is our tradition, the business program will end at 8:30 and the time for refreshments, conversation, and community will begin.

Parking:  If the Church lot is full, parking is available in the parking lot of the Rice Village Animal Hospital just across Rice Blvd. on the northwest corner of Rice and Greenbriar.  Another option is the Rice University parking lot across Greenbriar from the Church ($1).  Bicycle parking is in the greenspace within the church parking lot.

Transition Houston Hub Meeting
Tuesday, August 2 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Christ The King Lutheran Church
2353 Rice Blvd., Houston, TX 77005
For more information and RSVP: Ning or Facebook

Green Film Series Presents Blue Gold: World Water Wars, Tuesday, August 9, 6:30pm to 9:00pm
The Rice University Environmental Club, Houston Tomorrow, the Emerging Professionals of the Houston USGBC, and Transition Houston present the August film in our Houston Green Film Series–Blue Gold: World Water Wars.

Based on the ground-breaking book by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, Blue Gold: World Water Wars sheds light on the world’s rapidly approaching water crisis and suggests that wars of the future will be fought over water (as they are today over oil) as the source of all life enters the global marketplace and political arena.

Following the movie, we will highlight the local non-profit Living Water International that is working to solve global water issues.

Schedule:
6:30 Meet and Greet
7:00 Featured Film
8:00 Water Non-Profit Showcase

Refreshments will be served.   A $5 donation is suggested and greatly appreciated.

Blue Gold: World Water Wars
Tuesday, August 9
6:30pm to 9:00pm
Rice University Media Center
2030 University, Houston, TX  77005
For more information and RSVP:  Facebook

Looking forward to seeing you at these events!

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I don’t know if you have noticed, but it is hot out there.  And dry!  One might think that we would all just retreat to the indoors and the AC, but our Transition communities find that there is always much work to be done (and fun to be had).  We have a lot going on over the next several weeks–despite the drought–and would especially like to share the many events that we and/or our friends are scheduling.

But first, a public service announcement shared by Linda Foss on the Transition Houston ning group:

NPR interviewed Trees for Houston who said that we are now in an exceptional drought and trees will begin dying if it doesn’t change or people don’t water them. Trees for Houston can’t keep up with all the trees they’ve planted and are encouraging people to water trees in esplanades and other public spaces near them.  I’ve forwarded this to the neighborhood associations around me.

He (the Trees for Houston representative) advised:

“Punch a small hole in a 5-gallon bucket. Fill it up, put it by your tree and it drips out. You’ll get more water percolating right where you need it in a more efficient way, than a broad lawn sprinkler system.”

Thank you Linda for taking the time to share this information with our community.  Here’s hoping that the rain we need will be coming this week, and that exceptional events like this one will prompt people to consider climate challenges and resilient community responses.

Transition Heights Initiating Meeting, Thursday, June 23, 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Website Poll closes Friday, June 24, Midnight

Energy Action Group Solar Ovens and Pallet Building, Saturday, June 25, 10:00am to 12:00 noon

Save the Date:  Transition Houston Hub meeting, Tuesday, July 5, 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Save the Date:  Green Film Series presents The Power of Community, Tuesday, July 12, 6:30pm

A Conversation with Rob Hopkins, Monday, July 18, 10:00am to 11:15am

Transition Heights Initiating Meeting, Thursday, June 23, 7:00pm
As a group of neighborhoods with a historic core, the Heights has many of the qualities that would make for an easier transition, such as walkability, pre-AC housing stock, and local and independent businesses.   Many of our Transition Houston members live in the Heights, perhaps many more than we are aware.  If you do live in the Heights, you may be very interested to know that a group of Transition Houston members are getting together this week on Thursday to initiate a Heights Transition neighborhood.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Jan by email (jankindel at aol dot com) for location and directions.

Transition Heights Initiating Meeting
Thursday, June 23
7:00pm
For location/information:  jankindel at aol dot com

Website Poll closes Friday, June 24, Midnight
As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the Transition Houston Media Action Group has previewed three web page designs and are leaving it up to our membership to help make the final decision.  Whichever design gets the most votes will become Transition  Houston’s new website design.

Voting for the new design closes this Friday, June 24, at midnight, so please vote now!

Using the link below, you will have the chance to view functional designs which have dummy text and images.  Be sure to click around beyond the first page to see examples of other content pages, text treatments, popdown menus, etc.

For those of you who are concerned that the page may become stale if we are not be able to keep the fancy elements updated, such as slideshows and images, please note that all page content including menus, navigation, and slideshows are optional. Basically, any of the content you see in the samples can be  removed from displaying on the page.

Please take a moment to vote using this link:  http://www.transitionhouston.org/survey/webdesign

Energy Action Group Solar Ovens and Pallet Building, Saturday, June 25, 10:00am to 12:00 noon
The Energy Action Group of Transition Houston has a great event scheduled for this next Saturday, June 25.  Hosted at the City of Houston ReUse Warehouse, there will be two items of interest: solar oven field tests and a pallet reuse demonstration with David Reed of Texas Natural Builders.

Says Theresa of the Energy Action Group:  Join us for warm solar cookies and cold drinks. And leave with enough pallets to make your own quick and easy compost bin and the knowledge to harness the sun’s energy with reclaimed material.

If you’ve never been to the Warehouse, this would be a great chance to check out what’s available for your Transition projects.

Energy Action Group Solar Ovens and Pallet Building
Saturday, June 25
10:00 am to 12:00 noon
City of Houston Building Materials Reuse Warehouse
9003 N. Main., Houston, TX  77022
For more information and RSVP:  Ning or Facebook

Save the Date:  Transition Houston Hub meeting, Tuesday, July 5, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
We are still putting the program together for the July meeting, but we expect to have another excellent guest speaker, hear from our neighborhood initiatives and action groups, and find out which design won out for the new look to our www.transitionhouston.org website.

As is our tradition, the business program will end at 8:30 and the time for refreshments, conversation, and community will begin.

Transition Houston Hub Meeting
Tuesday, July 5
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Christ The King Lutheran Church
2353 Rice Blvd., Houston, TX  77005
For more information and RSVP:  Ning or Facebook

Save the Date:  Green Film Series presents The Power of Community, Tuesday, July 12, 6:30pm
The Houston Green Film Series partners (Rice University Environmental Club, USGBC Emerging Professionals of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, Transition Houston, and Houston Tomorrow) present The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, on Tuesday, July 12.  Please save the date for this movie, and for the panel discussion which will follow.

The Power of Community is a documentary on how Cuba, an isolated island nation, rebuilt its quality of life following the collapse of cheap oil which had been supplied by the former Soviet Union. This film shows how communities pulled together, created solutions, and ultimately thrived in spite of their decreased dependence on imported energy.  The showing will take place on July 12th at 6:30pm at Talento Bilingue de Houston, 333 S. Jensen.

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
Tuesday, July 12
6:30pm
Talento Bilingue de Houston
333 S. Jensen Dr., Houston, TX  77003

New Thinking in the Transition Movement:  A Conversation with Rob Hopkins, Monday, July 18, 10:00am to 11:15am
Transition US has arranged for an opportunity for all Transition members to join in a conversation with Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement!  Dial in and join the live conversation on Monday, July 18:

Rob needs no introduction really but if you are new to the concept of Transition then this is a great opportunity to learn from the source.  Rob Hopkins is the originator of the Transition concept and co-founder of the Transition Network. He spent many years teaching permaculture and cob building, mostly when living in Ireland. Now based in Totnes, he is a member of Transition Town Totnes, works part time for the Transition Network, publishes www.transitionculture.org, is author of the ‘Transition Handbook’ and generally spends far too much time thinking about Transition stuff. He is also a Trustee of the Soil Association (the UK’s premier organic farming and gardening organization).

Rob will be exploring new and emerging ideas from the Transition Movement, and there will be opportunities to:

  • ask questions about Transition
  • hear new ideas from around the world
  • discuss how Transition is taking shape specifically in the United States
  • get updates on the follow up to the Transition Handbook & the film ‘In Transition 2.0’ along with much more

Especially exciting is that the conversation will be hosted by Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute.

Please click here to register online.

A Conversation with Rob Hopkins
Monday, July 18
10:00am to 11:15am CDT
via Telephone
Registration: Click here to register online

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All of that wishing for good weather must have paid off…

It is really good to see the long-awaited and hoped-for cooler Fall weather finally arrive.  I find my personal reserves of energy restored, and I’m looking forward to a full plate of activities during the beautiful days of October, including our monthly Transition Houston meeting.

Transition Houston October meeting, Monday, October 4
As highlighted in our last newsletter, Richard Johnson, Sustainability Director at Rice University, will be a special guest speaker at Transition Houston’s October meeting.  Richard will be discussing climate and resource depletion threats, the current status of Houston sustainability, and opportunities to build our community’s resiliency.  We will also be discussing plans for our 10/10/10 Permablitz (our project for the 350.org Global Work Party), No Impact Project workshops, reports from Transition neighborhoods, and plans for Transition training in early 2011.  As always, we will close out the meeting with refreshments and conversation.

Richard Johnson at Transition Houston October Meeting
Monday, October 4
7:00-9:00PM 
Urban Harvest, 2311 Canal St., Houston, 77003
For details see  the event listing

No Impact Man Screening, Friday, October 1
Priyanka Johri sends word of a free screening of “No Impact Man” on Oct 1st in the Woodlands area:

There are several screenings all around Houston and we wanted to bring it to our neighborhood too. Please pass it on to your friends, neighbors and group members in surrounding areas who may be interested. We are located at the boundary of The Woodlands & Conroe. Everyone from The Woodlands, Conroe, Willis, Kingwood, Spring, Tomball and Magnolia are invited.

Please carpool or ride your bike if you can.
Hope to see you here.

No Impact Man free movie screening
Friday, October 1
7:00 PM
Indus Valley Sustainable Living Institute & Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary
2463 Bill Smith Rd., Conroe, TX  77384
Contact –
EcoLiving@IndusValleySustainableLivingInstitute.com

Solar Tour and Social, Saturday, October 2
Please remember the Houston Solar Tour and Social this Saturday, October 2.  Matthias Jung of Transition Houston is the chair of this year’s tour, and he and his colleagues have arranged for an excellent renewable energy and green living experience.

Solar Social (pre-Tour event)
Saturday, October 2
9:00AM to Noon
at the University of Houston, College of Architecture Building
 
Solar Tour
Saturday, October 2
Noon to 5:00PM
Self-guided tour
 
For details about both go to the Tour website.

Transition Houston Permablitz, Sunday, October 10 (350.org Global Work Party)
Quealy Antin, our Permablitz coordinator, has been working with the Permablitz team to hold a Permablitz on October 10:  Learn by doing!  Work with us at Transition Houston’s October Permablitz on the 10-10-10 Global Day of Action. We’ll apply Permaculture principles to create an example of local resiliency and turn a suburban landscape into a gorgeous food garden. The ‘Blitz will take place in Sharpstown, Houston’s oldest modern suburb. Bring shovels, gloves, loppers, clippers, and anything else you think we could use. Extra points for wheel barrows!  Early morning coffee, snacks, and lunch will be provided by the host family.

Transition Houston Permablitz
Sunday, October 10
8:30am – 1:00pm
7502 Croton Street
Houston, TX  77036
details at the Event Listing.

Clear Lake Transition Initiative Permablitz, Sunday, October 10 (350.org Global Work Party)
And Clear Lake Transition has a Global Work Party planned too!  The plant a seed ~ feed the need community garden at St. Christopher Episcopal church is a donation garden providing fresh organic produce to the food pantry at Interfaith Caring Ministries in League City Texas. We will be planting an orchard, fall veggies, installing rain barrels and irrigation, and building compost systems all under the counsel and direction of Certified Master Gardeners and Permaculture designers. This community event will provide labor for the garden and a hands on educational experience for the participants, with several guest speakers on permaculture, sustainability, making lifestyle changes, and building community resilience.

Plant-a-Seed Feed-the-Need Permablitz
October 10
8:30am – 3:30pm
2508 St. Christopher Avenue
League City , TX, 77573
details at the Event Listing
 and Blog

Transition Houston Leisure Learning class, Monday, October 18
We want to remind you of the opportunity for your interested family and friends to learn about Transition.  On the evening of Monday, October 18 Transition Houston will be presenting a class at Leisure Learning about the Transition movement and Transition Houston, followed by a visit on Saturday, October 23 to the Japhet Creek Transition community.  If you have family or friends who are curious about the Transition movement, what it is all about, and what it means for Houston please tell them about this class.  A portion of the class fee will go to Transition Houston for our projects.

Transition Houston–Strategies for the 21st Century
Monday, October 18 7-9:30pm (field trip on Saturday, October 23, 10am-noon)
Greenway Plaza Area: Richmond/Kirby
for registration and details see the class page.

GreenWeek Houston, October 10-17
GreenWeek Houston is a collaborative effort brought to the City of Houston by the USGBC Emerging Professionals, Houston Green Scene and the Last Organic Outpost.  GreenWeek Houston is designed to connect, educate, facilitate and inspire fellow Houstonians to live in a sustainable way that preserves and enhances our City.

Following the No Impact Man film, book, curriculum and experiment created by Colin Beavan, USGBC Emerging Professionals are implementing a week of No Impact activities taking place all over the Greater Houston area.  See the EP website for specific details on each event, and please join us!

Houston Training for Transition, February, 2011
As we mentioned in the mid-September newsletter, there has been a good deal of interest amongst Transition Houston members about having another Training For Transition (T4T) class, following up on last November’s very successful course.  The class is useful for those who want to learn about the Transition movement as well as those who are already involved.  We have now also received interest from Transition Dallas folks who are starting up their Initiative now.

There has also been a significant expression of interest from the Dallas Transition community in our class, and so it looks even more likely that the class might happen, probably in mid-February 2011.  There is still time for you to express your interest in attending by contacting Mark Juedeman (mjuedeman at gmail dot org).  The cost of the two-day class, including breakfast and lunch, Friday potluck, and optional garden tours, is likely to be around $200.  There will also be a few partial scholarships available.

Enjoy these good October days and myriad opportunities to learn Transition skills!

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