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:

May Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope May 22 – “Shop Your Kitchen Potluck” – continues our series on food waste. Scroll down for details. UUCPA Fireside room

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

May 22 Fourth Friday – Shop your kitchen potluck

We’re continuing our look at food waste with a fun “anti-food waste” evening.

Bring a potluck dish to share – with this extra twist:
Try to use as much as you can from your own kitchen. Or, ask your favorite vendors at your grocer’s, farmer’s market, or bakery for good food that might not be quite “perfect” – like day-old bread or produce with small blemishes.
  • Got a can of garbonzo beans? Make hummus!
  • Got a cabbage in the fridge? Make cole slaw!
  • Got some rice in your cupboard and some veggies in your fridge? Mix it up and get creative!
This is a “do your best” event. If you need to go out and buy something or get some new ingredients, that’s OK too. Don’t let that stop you from coming.
We’ll brainstorm about ideas to reduce waste, including anything that you’ve been doing over the past month.
PLUS we’ll show some short videos to get you inspired to take more action.

Friday May 22
Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto Fireside Room
505 E Charleston Rd, Palo Alto, CA 

All ages welcome
Sponsored by Transition Silicon Valley, Transition Palo Alto, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, and Zero Waste Palo Alto.

Mary Pipher – Reviving ourselves in our capsized culture – May 30

“… [O]ur cultural and environmental crises. . . will require that most difficult of all human endeavors, facing our own despair. This involves waking from our trance of denial, facing our own pain and sorrow, accepting the world as it is, adapting and living more intentionally.” — Mary Pipher, author of The Green Boat

Transition Palo Alto is co-sponsoring a talk May 30 by Mary Pipher, national best selling author of Reviving Ophelia. She’ll be discussing her latest book, The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in our Capsized Culture.

A Nebraska resident, Mary Pipher found herself in deep despair about the growing evidence of climate change. A psychologist, she recognized the signs of depression — and she’ll share her story of collecting friends and neighbors to create an antidote to despair.

Mary Pipher - green boat

Saturday, May 30, 2015
7:30 – 9:00 pm
Palo Alto Unitarian Universalist Church
505 Charleston Road, Palo Alto

Go to http://buff.ly/1GyD3bL to reserve your seat for $10. Donations will be accepted at the door on May 30; no one will be turned away for lack of funds as long as seats are available.

Mary Pipher’s talk is the kick-off to an “All City Read,” co-sponsored by the City of Palo Alto Library. Pick up a copy of The Green Boat from the Accounts desk at any Palo Alto City Library branch. No need to check it out; please read and pass it along to a friend or return it to the Library. Then join with others for one of four discussion groups:

Thurs. June 4, 6:30 pm – Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Road, PA
Sat. June 6, 4 pm – Downtown Library, 270 Forest Avenue, PA
Fri. June 12, 10:30 am – College Terrace Library, 2300 Wellesley Street, PA
Mon June 15, 6:30 pm – Rinconada Library (formerly Main Library), 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto

May Fete Fair Fun

Marching bands, walking bald eagles, aliens, children on parade…and Transition Palo Alto! On Saturday, May 2nd, we joined hundreds in Palo Alto as part of the May Fete Fair, which follows the (93rd) annual Children’s Parade. This year’s theme was No Space to Alienate – be Unique, be Free, be yOu (UFO), so of course there were aliens and spaceships everywhere!

After dodging closed streets, I and my kids unloaded boxes of recycled to-go containers and shiny plastic doodads rescued from the landfill, gathered generously by Trina. We marched (and rode a bike) in the parade with their respective schools, and we ended up at a table on the grass at the parade, where William Mutch was staffing a table where children were making UFOs and aliens out of those recyclables. We had a display of aliens and spaceships made at the Craft Night and artfully arranged by Trina. Using those as examples (or ignoring them entirely!), children braided yarn, stuck on tape, stuffed prescription bottles and ice cream containers, stuck stickers and bottle caps, and created amazing worlds of their own imagination. A few of the creatures and vehicles below. We were calling it Junkology (thanks, Elliot!) and having a blast of it.

Thanks to William Mutch, Roy Kornbluh, Peter Ruddock, Vanessa Warheit and Trina Lynn-Wilson for making this happen, and to all the children and parents for making this event out of this world!

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April Fourth Friday – The incredible story of food waste

Folks jammed the Fireside Room for the West Coast community premiere of Just Eat It, a funny, entertaining, and jaw dropping look at the staggering problem of food waste.  40 percent of produced food is wasted throughout the production and delivery cycle, from the farm and factory to people’s homes. Not only does that mean that food isn’t getting to people in need, but it’s also an obscene waste of energy and water.

What can we do about the problem? After the film, Maybo AuYeung from Zero Waste Palo Alto answered questions about what the city is doing about the waste problem, and attendees shared stories and strategies: changing shopping strategies, pressuring local grocers to change their practices, gleaning excess produce to give to those in need, and even creative dumpster diving.

April Craft Night – Out of this world!

Submitted by Trina Lynn

April’s Craft Night was ‘out of this world!’

While a few of us assembled Aliens & UFOs from recyclables in  preparation for the city’s ‘No Space to Alienate’ Kid’s Parade & May Fete event, others got serious with the sewing machines & cutting table and made some much needed pant & clothing adjustments. 

Herb provided a lovely soundtrack to a knife sharpener, an embroiderer and a coloring project & some of us talked business (aka as community building in these circles). 

All this was captured in a series of much anticipated ‘Black & White’ pics by our most wonderful Barbara Weinstein who made the coolest UFO of the night and offered these ‘Noir’ photos. 

No one is banned (inside joke*), in fact all are welcome at May’s Craft Night event.  Look out for the invitation early next month for details on the location and where to RSVP (*or just to be let in on the joke).

And Herb’s mood guitar.


April Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – Just Eat It

Winner of numerous awards, including Audience Choice at the 2014 Hot Docs Film Festival.
“Hugely entertaining… will leave audiences gobsmacked.” – Variety

We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash?

Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant (remember them from the Clean Bin Project film?) dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping and survive only on discarded food – you’ll see what happens.

After the film, join the discussion and hear Maybo Auyeung from Zero Waste Palo Alto share what’s happening locally.

Just eat it Jen Grant 

Friday April 24
7:30pm (come at 7:15 for social time)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto Fireside Room
505 E Charleston Rd, Palo Alto, CA 

All ages welcome
$5 recommended donation – no one turned away for lack of funds

Films of Vision and Hope focuses on positive solutions to  environmental and social problems affecting our world. Provocative films, great discussion, and opportunities to connect with others who want to make a difference. Sponsored by Transition Silicon Valley, Transition Palo Alto, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, and Zero Waste Palo Alto.