During lockdown, if you walked around Waltham Forest you might have noticed some graffiti. ‘Business as usual is over. What’s next?’ it said.
This sounds like a positive message to me. After all, business as usual isn’t working for far too many of us and it’s surely time for change. I could go into all the statistics of how wealth is increasingly being concentrated into an ever-smaller circle of billionaires, of people reliant on food banks, of poverty and austerity, but I’d rather stick with the positive messages.
That bit of graffiti got me thinking. Because things could just go back to how they were unless we do something about it. Lockdown gave us all the time and space to reflect on the state of our society and many of us agree that we want a better, more equitable world. I know I do, and I want to do something about it. But what?
That’s when I came across a passing mention of the Transition Network in an online article. It was described as a grassroots organisation encouraging local communities to come together to build a better world. That sounded like exactly the sort of thing I was looking for and I decided to investigate further.
I found the organisation’s website (https://transitionnetwork.org/). From there I searched to see if there was a group close to me. Waltham Forest has always struck me as a very engaged borough so I wasn’t surprised to find there was. The one nearest me in Walthamstow had gone into hibernation, but the website pointed me in the direction of Transition Leytonstone. So I got in touch and here I am.
My particular interests lie in supporting local businesses, the environment and access to nature for all and addressing the climate emergency. So nothing too big, then!
Of course all these things are linked and small changes in one area can help another. Shopping local where possibl
e supports your community, but it also reduces reliance on driving, promoting active and sustainable travel, which is good for the environment and for our warming climate (as well as helping us get a bit fitter!). It also helps cut food waste and use of plastics – again protecting our environment and addressing the climate crisis. Protecting and creating more green spaces improves our access to nature and creates a buffer zone for our beleaguered wildlife. And all of this helps create a better, more beautiful world for us all to live in together.
I’m very new to Transition Leytonstone but I’m already excited about what I might help to achieve. Watch this space!