The Journey to More Sustainable Living

Peter and Leslie

We are Leslie MacKenzie
and Peter Foster (Leslie does the writing).

In 2007, we took on the challenge to be as thrifty as we could be. What we discovered in the process was that when we reduced our expenses, we also became more “green.” It was the start of a new, life-defining journey.

Then in 2010 we heard Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute talk about the real impacts and timeline of global climate change. That shook us to our core. For the first time, we really understood that climate change was not 100 years and 1,000 miles away. It was already here and it would soon be impacting us and our children.

We knew we needed to act now.

We had a few role models for lower-impact ways of living. Leslie’s friends in the Quaker community demonstrated the principles of simplicity, and Peter’s mother was a powerful model of thrifty living. Still, it was hard to imagine the level of change required to meet the carbon reduction goals we need to see.

No, we’re not saying that the actions of individual households are going to get us to the global carbon reduction goal, but we DO strongly believe that every household and every business has to do its part to reduce carbon. Everyone has skin in this game. Taking action is not only the right thing to do for your physical well-being, it’s also the right thing to do for your psychological well-being.

We knew we needed a bigger imagination and a lot more knowledge so we turned to our community. In January 2011, we started Transition Longfellow, a neighborhood group following the model of the Transition Town movement. With a core organizing team of 4-10 people, we created a vibrant social network of folks who also wanted to LEARN and DO.

And we went about the business of change.

It’s now 10 years later. It’s amazing all the people we’ve met, all the things we’ve learned, and all the things we’ve done. Now we’re in a new town, in very different conditions, learning all over again.

This Blog

We started this blog to help us stay on track with the changes we wanted to make. We wrote about what we were doing and why. We explored one thing after another. We shared ideas and inspiration. We took a few years off with the move, and then COVID-19, and now we’re back. We expect to post about:

  • What we are learning about energy, economy, food, sustainability, local economy, waste reduction, climate, and more.
  • Interesting and inspiring things people are doing in our area around these issues.
  • The social, emotional and psychological impacts of lifestyle changes, climate change and climate grief, and positive deep adaptation. At no time in history has it been more important to understand our thought processes and how to build psychological health and personal and community resilience.
  • The local, national and global Transition movement and how you can become involved. We really do believe in the power of community to help people face the changes ahead.

Policy on Comments

THIS IS A CLIMATE-DENIAL-FREE ZONE. Climate change is a reality; the evidence is overwhelming. We aren’t going to spend time having a meaningless debate about it. We’re interested in solutions. We would love to hear what you are doing and the solutions you’ve found.