Sustainability revolution

Red Deer could be on its way to becoming a Transition Town. The global movement, that started in the United Kingdom, is all about helping communities deal with problems related to climate change and recognize that oil production will soon reach its peak and start to decline.

Red Deer could be on its way to becoming a Transition Town.

The global movement, that started in the United Kingdom, is all about helping communities deal with problems related to climate change and recognize that oil production will soon reach its peak and start to decline.

Transition Towns promote sustainable living and local resilience, reducing waste and energy independence.

“We’re going to ruffle a few feathers for sure with what we’re talking about,” said Rene Michalak, co-ordinator of ReThink Red Deer which held a public meeting on Transition Towns on Tuesday night at Red Deer College.

“We’re not putting anyone down. We’re not saying don’t do this, don’t do that. It’s simply — what can we do to become more resilient, to have other options.

“We can’t continue on the path we’re on.”

ReThink Red Deer, a grassroots group that encourages sustainability and smart urban planning, attracted about 25 people to its Transition Towns meeting.

Michalak said Red Deer is heavily dependent upon outside sources for the wellbeing of its citizens, but it’s on the verge of change.

ReThink Red Deer has been advocating for cycling lanes and promotes community gardening. It’s working on renewable energy projects like alcohol fuel production and renewable energy installation like solar panels and wind mills, which will include urging the city look at bylaws to allow residents to install wind mills and use more of their property for food production.

ReThink encourages more people and organizations to join in the sustainability revolution.

“Before we go too far down the path on separate projects, let’s come together and identify where similarities are and how we can work together to amplify each others efforts.

“How can we work with what exists and tweak it and modify it so it gives us more resiliency at a local level.”

Michalak said as long as people are locked into the same way of doing things, they will not recognize what they could create.

“If we can see the potential of new technologies and a way to amplify or increase our return on energy investment, we’re going to create a whole new economy with all new opportunities for prosperity and quality for life.”

For more information about Transition Towns go to www.transitiontowns.org and for local sustainability updates go to www.sustainablereddeer.com or www.rethinkreddeer.ca.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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