Examples of Actions Local Transition Town Groups Have Taken

Energy Saving Activities

  • Monthly energy “mini-challenge” where participants could practice one energy-saving behavior or make one energy-related change in their home each month
  • Winter Warming Fashion Show where neighbors modeled their energy reduction efforts – and winter fashion – in a slideshow on their website
  • Transition Longfellow helped to host a Neighborhood Energy Fair, which attracted more than 100 participants and included NO-energy and LOW-energy options. The fair included a track for new homeowners, one for homeowners who had already taken all the easy actions, and a track of workshops for small businesses and churches on low-cost energy audits, energy-saving technologies, and solar energy for businesses, with financing options.
  • Transition NE Mpls hosted workshops on energy audits and ways to insulate old windows.
  • Transition Longfellow hosted skillshare events helping people sew insulated curtains
  • The former Northfield Transition group developed an energy descent plan for their community, which they brought to their city council. An affiliated youth group worked with a solar company to sign up 300 households for rooftop solar installations.
  • Local Transition group Transition ASAP created a team to explore building a community solar garden to their neighborhood
  • Another group partnered with a local congregation to develop a community solar garden and hosted an informational session on community solar gardens to educate residents
  • Transition Longfellow invited people to visit the state legislature together when the Clean Energy & Jobs Act was being discussed. The goal was to make it less intimidating to learn about how the government makes decisions.
longfellow energy fair
Low Energy Transit Workshop at the Longfellow Energy Fair

Lower-Carbon Transportation Activities 

Local Transition Town groups are active in helping people reconsider their transit choices:

  • Drop a Car Challenge – Transition ASAP encourages residents to reduce the number of cars in their household by one
  • Transition ASAP also hosts “Meet the Bus” events promoting public transit to several desirable sites in the community and “Meet the Bike” events to help people become more active bikers or bike commuters, with workshops on biking equipment, how to use transit options while biking (bus and light rail), and how to dress for bad weather
  • Transition Longfellow hosted transit workshops at a neighborhood energy fair to provide information about bike commuting, electric cars, and how and why a person might choose to do self-carbon taxing to offset greenhouse gases from transportation
  • Transition ASAP created plans for resting places within a neighborhood to encourage seniors (and everyone) to walk more
Transition ASAP Meet the Bus
Transition ASAP Meet the Bus - beautiful artwork that shows the community's local bus route

Waste Reduction, Recycling and Reuse Activities 

Local Transition Town groups have:

  • Hosted movie nights about waste issues, reuse options, food waste and how other families have taken the zero-waste challenge
  • Set waste reduction goals as part of a mini-challenge activity
  • Transition Longfellow conducted a 4-week group on Going Zero Waste workshop and a 1-night Preparing to Go Zero Waste workshop at a local reuse business
  • Demonstrated upcycling at a community celebration by letting attendees help make a rag rug
  • Transition Longfellow partnered with a local church to collect and transport hard-to-recycle plastics

School Activities 

  • A former teacher and Transition member in St. Anthony Park consults with teachers and helps in the classroom on Transition-related projects (e.g., zero waste breakfast, building a rain garden, solar powered boats, beekeeping, and wind generators)
  • A Transition Longfellow member shared her vegetable garden with students from a local school

Food Resilience & Garden Activities 

Food resilience is a strong theme for all local Transition Town groups.

  • Chard Your Yard: Neighborhood-wide project that uses volunteer teams to build and install raised bed gardens in yards. The group has installed 187 raised beds in 7 years.
  • An electronic bulletin board to connect people who want to can food together ad share tools or gardens
  • Seed saving workshops and winter seed sowing workshops
  • Skillshares events and demonstration projects: making biochar (a soil amendment), setting up a multi-rain barrel system, growing greens indoors in winter, hydroponics, pruning, composting and/or vermiculture (worm bins), haybox cooking, making kefir, canning, pickling, jam-making, dehydrating and fermenting, building a solar cooker and a solar food dryer
  • Residents assisting each other, one-to-one, with their gardens
  • Help build a community Walipini for year-round growing
  • Movie nights with films on food issues, farming and food policy
  • Speakers on urban farming, chickens, city ag policies, food system challenges, land stewardship and eating in line with your values (diet decision making),
  • Communal canning and preserving sessions
Microgreens Class
Lee Olson from Transition West Side/West St. Paul teaches growing microgreens


Permaculture is one of the foundations of the Transition movement. It is a design method that seeks to replicate natural systems for sustainable food production and to regenerate damaged environments.

  • Movie night viewing of permaculture videos
  • Book groups studying Mollison’s book “Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual”
  • Saturday discussion group of the principles and ethics of permaculture

Climate Change and Resilience Activities

  • Host a community visioning process: Where do we want to be in 25 years? What do we need to do now to get there? How can we work together to promote physical and emotional health?
  • Hosted a 6-part speaker series explaining current and near-term climate change impacts for our community, culminating in a preparedness fair
  • Promote neighbors meeting neighbors with social events, potlucks, sing-alongs
  • Convene monthly Inner Transition groups to help people consider together how they can deal with the emotional, spiritual and psychological challenges of the climate crisis

Housing Activities 

  • Advocated to its neighborhood council for a multifaceted approach to increased population density (for aging in place, energy savings, transit efficiency, affordability and business vitality) with the addition of accessory dwelling units
  • Hosted a land use efficiency group

Economy Activities

  • Created a local investment group, Local Dough
  • Cohosted speakers on the challenge of shifting our economy away from dependence on fossil fuel
  • Hosted a Sustainable Finance-Sustainable Life class for people who want to make different choices to have a more positive impact on their community.