TRANSITION SOOKE MEMBERS VISIT SALTSPRING ISLAND FOR THE ECO-LIVING AND HOME TOUR
On a pleasant Sunday in early August, 2 car loads of Sooke Transition Town members took the ferry to Saltspring Island at the invitation of Transition Saltspring Island. Starting with coffee in Ganges, we ranged widely around the island looking at various building projects – some completed and others underway.
We saw many different kinds of green and sustainable building features including insulated rammed earth, recycled wood, hempcrete, insulated concrete, and clay/straw construction. Energy systems used included passive solar, solar hot water, geothermal, sun pump, wood-fired supported by all kinds of sophisticated insulation applications – even sheep’s wool insulation! A veritable feast of innovation! Our hosts were very welcoming and allowed us to roam around their homes and land freely.
One of the highlights of the day was the formal start-up of the Level 2 Charging Station in Ganges with who else but local Green MP Elizabeth May and MLA Gary Holman in attendance to do the first official “plug-in”. There was quite a crowd to cheer them on with speeches by them and representatives of Transition Saltspring and the Earth Festival Society. There were various electric cars on display and even a cake to celebrate this special occasion.
It was clear to me both at this public event and on their website that Transition Saltspring is very much a going concern with a critical mass of conscious and committed people who are really having a positive impact on island life. If you check out their website, you will see they have done a highly professional job of preparing a Climate Action Plan which is very well researched and impressive. The Earth Festival Society has prepared a Community Energy Strategy that is equally well done. Perhaps we need to partner with Royal Roads to create a student opportunity to put something like this together for us!
I feel both humbled and inspired by how far ahead the Saltspring community has progressed in the quest for local resilience and sustainability. Here in Sooke, we obviously have a long way to go. Yet, we have made a good start and we must continue to be persistent and patient. Unfortunately, the future is not so friendly and the necessity for the kind of shifts the Transition movement is proposing will become more and more obvious and compelling. Our job is to keep at it and be ready to serve the greater good when the time comes.
Michael Tacon September, 2013