Transition Ashtead – (how to) be a better Earthling:

Striding from wealthy few to wholesome collective…How do we break out of competitive, perfectionist mentality into wholesome collective thinking – sustainable living, harmonious edible planting, rewilding – acts that benefit us, our community and the Earth? Change means difficult conversations and commitment. Without practical involvement it won’t happen.
MINE Starting at home: grow edibles (help available eg @PotGang for confident results), join (Heritage) Seed Library and make easy joyful changes using lateral thinking to fully use what you’ve got. For example, air linen more to wash less, reuse bathwater to wash clothes or water garden, forage weeds such as wild garlic/ nettles/ dandelions for tea/ cooking; no dig planting or let part of your garden/ verge go wild and/or edible. David Attenborough suggests “Do not waste”. Robin Kimmerer says “harvest honourably in harmony with Mother Earth”. Every action contributes to the mindful mindset, even seemingly trite ones – I plug my shower drain washing underwear in the soapy water!
Next, move towards close neighbours – think of obvious or out of the box solutions, for instance initiate car shares, do seed(ling) swaps, share meals and harvests or shared-usage gardens… Transition Ashtead’s Claire started forest school sessions to get kids outside.
OUR Community and local ventures are at the core of carbon, food and mental health solutions. Supporting them brings personal and collective gain. Many fail due to funding or dependence on too few people, however dedicated! Our area is blessed with many ventures, some in need of bolstering to thrive: the Leatherhead Community Hub (LCH) café houses the Community Fridge and Foodbank, and The Hive (for textiles repairs); Ashtead Good Neighbours (AGN) provides the elderly a taxi service while Ashtead Youth Club (AYC) and Leatherhead Youth Project (LYP) focus on youth.
Buying locally from small/ sustainable ventures boosts heart-lead business like 15MilesFoods, Gray’s Gelato, Brewbix, Greenwise refillables and many more; if you can – gift to someone who can’t afford to – be it a cuppa or getting treatment from a local practitioner (benefits practitioner, receiver and the overwhelmed NHS); or best of all – join forces to solve a need that exists which you are passionate about. I organised ‘treatment tasters’ that’re now evolving into a “Ways2Wellness” community association.
People inspire each other. Some who influence me: @PoppyOkotcha (holistic & community horticulturist), @robinwallkimmerer (Biologist, native elder and poet) and Vandana Shiva (international seed/ community environmentalist) Have a read or follow inspired communications to guide your transition so you can lead others!
Elsje Koelmans
Information about Transition Ashtead:
Keep up to date: @TransitionAsht1