Transition Streets is an award-winning program from the UK, where participating households have saved an average of $1,000 per year on their household expenses and have also cut their annual carbon emissions by an average of 1.2 tons.
Here's how it works: a group of neighbors, friends or relatives get together on a regular basis (once every two or three weeks) and self-teach through a workbook of 7 sessions. Each session has low-cost or no-cost suggestions for how to save money. At the same time, you also reduce your environmental impact and build community.
There is no cost to participate, and the workbooks are provided free of charge by Transition Catskills.
The sessions are:
- Getting started (meeting each other and agreeing how to run the sessions)
- Wrapping up (evaluating the program's value and thinking about next steps)
The workbook is easy to read and includes ways to involve children, fun and thought-provoking challenges, and further resources. Across all sessions, there are 34 actions you can take to save money and live more sustainably.
At every session, you'll gather useful information so you can measure your savings. Many participants in the program have valued the new relationships with their neighbors even more than the savings in carbon and money. After all, your neighbors are the people you rely on when there's a crisis—or when you need an emergency cup of sugar—so it's wise to build a more connected neighborhood.
The Transition Streets workbook was just adapted for the USA. You could go through the sessions on your own, but the support of your fellow group members will help keep you motivated and make the experience pleasurable, as well as effective.
Take a sneak peek at the Streets handbook here.
If you would like to try Transition Streets in your neighborhood, we're here to help. For information about how to put your street on the road to sustainability, contact our Coordinator, Kristina, at:
kz at transitioncatskills dot org