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:

NO Fourth Friday in August – Taking a vacation… But we’ll be back in September with “Damnation,”  Scroll down for details.

Share Faire. Once each quarter. Check this space for details.

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

Save the date – September Fourth Friday – DamNation

Fourth Friday is taking August off for vacation. But we’ll be back September 25 with “DamNation.”

This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.

Friday September 25
7:15-9:30 pm (7:15 meet and greet, film starts promptly at 7:30), discussion follows the film
Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto Fireside Room
505 E Charleston Rd, Palo Alto, CA 


Glorious summer evening for great company, delicious eats, and pleny of bean bags

A perfect evening for the Fourth Friday summer picnic at Mitchell park. Hanging out with excellent food and company. Just a bit hard to keep track of where to throw the bean bags!

July Fourth Friday July 24 – Picnic Time!

Potluck Picnic Time!

Mitchell Park Arbor area, 600 E Meadow, Palo Alto
6:00-8:30 pm July 24 Note the updated time

It’s time for the Transition Palo Alto Summer Picnic! Bring food to share, wallow in the summer evening, and enjoy some fun games.
All ages are welcome.

If you’ve been involved with TPA activities, this is a great time to connect with friends. And if you’re new to TPA, come meet people and learn more about our community.

Want to help out? Click to sign up for a volunteer slot. It’s great fun! Setup starts at 5:30pm.
And click here to say what you’re bringing.
And we want to extend a special invitation to all the volunteers who have made TPA events a great success this past year.

Don’t miss the fun!

2015 summer picnic

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.