A Great Unleashing in Carrboro | News

A Great Unleashing in Carrboro

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Chapel Hill and Carrboro are among 278 towns whose residents are working toward becoming self-sustainable without using fossil fuels, especially coal and oil.

Mimi Kelly reports for the Indy on the "Great unleashing"

Known as the Transition movement, resilience is at its core. “Resilience is a system,” Rob Hopkins who founded Transitions in England in 2005, says on YouTube, “which, when it experiences shock from outside, it doesn’t fall to pieces. It has built into it the ability to adapt and change to meet circumstances.”

Transition of Chapel Hill and Carrboro will celebrate resilience at a daylong community gathering called an “unleashing” May 15 at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St. Among the speakers is Norman L. Christensen, professor of ecology and founding dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of Environmental Sciences & Policy.

“Our resilience is increased by the ties we have with each other, says Margaret Kromes-Lukens, founder of the Carrboro/Chapel Transitions Town. The joy of this work “comes from neighbor helping neighbor.”
Other Transition towns are working on sustainability. Santa Cruz, Calif., is establishing a sustainable water commons that helps people, for example, “to hook up your laundry washer so water will irrigate your yard.”

Sandpoint, Idaho, is running an edible, medicinal and useful native plants workshop, while Berea, Ky., has a “50 X 25” plan. By 2025 they intend to reduce energy use by 50 percent. Starting with growing their own food, weatherizing houses, installing solar panels on all buildings, increasing walking and biking, and promoting “green building initiatives.”

How Chapel Hill and Carrboro will become more sustainable is for the residents to decide. For example, would the further development of local farms be an answer to food shortages that could arise from a rapid increase in gasoline prices that could slow or stop food shipments? Other solutions could include the creation of a seed exchange, a tool cooperative or a land share program in which people with spare land offer to potential gardeners.

“We do it from a well of passion” said Kathy Shea, a Transitions steering committee member.

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