Welcome to Transition!

We’re part of a world-wide grassroots movement to build local resilience and connections close to home. Since 2010, we’ve been mounting creative and thoughtful responses to the challenges of resource depletion, climate change, and economic instability. Help us unleash the power and creative genius of people and communities to create a vibrant future for generations to come. Scroll down for our recent activities blog.

Coming up:

July 24 Fourth Friday -SUMMER PICNIC! Details to follow.

Monthly Craft Night. Once a month on Tuesday evening. Check your email for details of the next one.

Garden Shares

Second Sunday of each month 11am-12, Palo Alto Community Garden

Fourth Sunday of each month11am-12, Full Circle Farm, Sunnyvale

Transition Cafes – Most Fridays, 6-8pm, Red Rock Cafe, Mountain View. Check your email each week (by Thursday) for the topic and details. Sign up for our Google Groups mailing list Meetup Group/Facebook group

How to get to zero (or close)

Have you ever wondered how recycling gets sorted after it leaves your bins? What happens to the clothes you give to Goodwill? How recycled goods become new products? What’s compostable?

June Fourth Friday attendees got to learn how, with Racing to Zero, a fascinating nuts-and-bolts view of how San Francisco is working to achieve zero waste. Viewers got to see the people, machinery, and amazing processes that all go into reducing the waste that goes into Bay Area landfills. And there’s plenty of education involved, too, with inspectors who go around checking people’s waste bins and leaving friendly little notes about how to do a better job sorting.

Sharing in the sun

What do shoe making, aroma therapy, bike repair, tool sharpening, drought landscaping, and massage to name a few) have in common? Answer, they were all on display at the June Share Faire. It was a glorious day at Lucie Stern Community Center – and so many things to see and learn. Attendees learned how to wield a knife in the kitchen and tasted delicious solar-cooked pancakes and banana bread.  Plus musical instruments, conversation, and even a bit of Tai Chi for a fine way to welcome in summer!

T-shirt madness

Ever wonder what to do with old T-shirts? Answer: Make a tote bag! As folks learned at June craft night, it’s easy and fun to do, and because the bags breathe, you can even use them to store veggies, etc. that you get at the Farmers Market. For an extra Transition twist, we started making TPA logos out of felt to add to the bags (or to sew onto anything else.


Our Interview with Shareable Magazine

A couple of months ago, a writer for Shareable magazine approached Rani and asked us to contribute to their article on ShareFests.  Rani and I spent some time talking about their questions and then she wrote up some great responses.  Alas, when the article game out (you can read it here) it did no more than mention that Palo Alto has a Share Faire.  Well, at least we’re on the map.  But we thought that the exchange with Shareable was too good to lose, so we’re reproducing it here as a blog post for you.



[?] What are some activities or events that do particularly well at your ShareFests?

Our Share Faires are held quarterly, and include goods (garden produce and tools, craft supplies, books, toys, and clothes) as well as skills, which vary each time. Classes by experts and which involve food are often popular, as well as garden-related booths, but seasonal activities (wreath-making) and new ones (shoe-making) do very well. Anything for kids attracts families – we have done crafts, storytelling, friendship bracelets, and music, among others.. We have also just tried a conversation circle with great success in an outdoor setting!

[?] In your opinion, what’s the importance of a ShareFest?

Transition Palo Alto, and the Transition movement in general, is founded on the principle that climate change and resource depletion are opportunities for a better vision of the world – one where we build community, encourage others to try things first and dive in, then understand its significance in your mind, and finally take it to heart, where it moves you. We beliyour Share Faires and other sharing events offer opportunities for people to dive in with their hands, but also deepen their involvement in the other two, through building confidence and resilience, developing and encouraging teachers, and bringing everyone along these steps to grow the movement.

[?] What are the goals for your ShareFests? What do you hope comes out of them?

Of course, we hope that sharing encourages less waste, less reliance on resources, and a stronger local economy. We hope that we are helping build a network of people who have skills and resources to support our community. However, we also hope that those who teach go deeper into understanding their roles as wisdom-keepers, and that those who attend do more than trade stuff but instead try something new, become experts and teachers themselves, and build a stronger, more integrated community that has shared its knowledge and is resilient in the face of what is coming. We have the broader goal of a vision for the future that is optimistic, interconnected, and a smooth transition to a post-carbon world.

[?] Anything you’d like to add about your events?

One issue we have had with our Share Faires is that as we become more popular, we find more people bringing items and leaving them. We have had to be careful about this sort of dumping, because it suggests an easy out – a way to release your material guilt, when what we are trying to encourage is less consumption. Instead, we are trying to focus on sharing the stories of our stuff, to make one-on-one connections, to help people find good homes for things that they are releasing from their lives.

Preparing to share

Another creative evening for craftivists! The Share Prepare team got together June 2 for sign making and related fun.

June Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – Racing to Zero

racing to zero
Racing To Zero is a quick-moving, upbeat documentary presenting new solutions to the global problem of waste. By simply substituting the word RESOURCE for the word GARBAGE, a culture can be transformed, and a new wealth of industries can emerge.
Three years ago the mayor of San Francisco pledged to achieve zero waste by 2020. Racing to Zero tracks San Francisco’s waste stream diversion tactics and presents innovative new solutions to waste. This film documents a surprising, engaging and inspiring race to zero.
Film and discussion
Friday June 26
505 E Charleston Rd, Palo Alto, CA
All ages welcome

Summer Share Faire June 21

On June 21st, we’ll be headed out to the Lucie Stern Patio once again for our quarterly Share Faire.

Sharing books, toys, clothes, garden produce, crafts? Check. Old, fun demos? Check. Some new and interesting ones? Check. Sunshine? Likely. Fun for the whole family? You know it. Cool people attending? Well, we have FoPAL, Neighbors helping neighbors, conversation circle, scrapophony, Fabmo, massage, and a few others, but it’ll be even cooler if you come!

If you haven’t yet had a chance to come out, check us out, join the fun, even if you’re empty-handed. If you have been before and love it, bring a friend. If you think it’s not for you, try it ou, or tell us what you’d like to see! Don’t have transportation? The VTA 35 bus gets there. Have a funny thing you’re not sure if you should bring? Ask us, or bring it anyway and take it home if no one grabs it (they just might!).

If you’d just like to slow down and enjoy the summer, start with the Share Faire. No obligation, no commitment, just being outdoors, building community, and helping make our world a little better.

Sunday, June 21st

11am to 1pm

Lucie Stern Community Center Patio (grassy area near parking lot)

1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto