Action Groups

Action Groups sections for Transition Houston
This is the top-level section of this site which houses all the information associated with the various Action Groups
within the Transition Houston organization.

4-H

 

 

A 4-H club focused on sustainability and supported in part by Transition Houston

meets most months during the school year at Bayland Park Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet.  

 

Since 2013 we have enjoyed a variety of family activities,

including a focus on food & horticulture last year.

  

If you enjoy making, growing, and exploring, please register your interest at the link below,

and we will contact you with more information as soon as we can:

= = CLUB PRE-REGISTRATION FORM = =

You can send comments or questions to info@transitionhouston.org.

 

Curious about 4-H in Texas? Read more at http://texas4-h.tamu.edu/,

follow Harris County 4-H on Facebook

or listen to a 2014 news story about 4-H on KUHF's Houston Matters.

 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
(Un 4-H Club de la sostenibilidad se reúne en Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet. En el 2013-2014 año escolar, hemos desfrutado de un gran variedad de actividades.  En el 2014-2015, esperamos viajes, jardinería ¡y tal vez un poco de pesca!  Si te gusta crear, cultivar, y explorar, por favor registre su interés en el enlace. ¿Tienes curiosidad por 4-H de Texas? Lea más en "¿Que es 4-H?")
 
~~~~~~~~~~
 
Bayland Park, part of the Harris County parks system, is convenient to a lot of neighborhoods in Southwest Houston, including Sharpstown, Braes Acres, Robindell, Maplewood, Westbury, Braeswood, Meyerland, and Bellaire.  Come visit us! 
 
We appreciate in-kind donations to help us support our eager students.  Contact us at info@transitionhouston.org for information on how you can help.

 

4-H Sponsors

We are looking for in-kind donations to help us support our eager students.  Contact us at info@transitionhouston.org for information on how you can help.

4-H Transition's Pony Poster

Click here to learn more.

No room for a pony? Join 4-H, instead.

We offer classes and activities in photography, sewing, animal science, and more. Even horses. For more information or to join the club visit www.transitionhouston.org/4-H.

Register Your Interest: Transition Houston 4-H at Bayland Park!

4-H at Bayland Community Center!

For a third year, Transition Houston will be helping to support a 4-H club focused on community resilience and sustainability.  The new club will meet monthly--with project groups possibly meeting more often--at Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet.  This survey is to gauge your interests in the club--we'd love to have you join us!
 
This will be a family club.  Your involvement will be vital to the success of the program.
 
The club will be meeting the 2nd Tuesday evening of the month from August to May.  Some project groups may meet more frequently.
 
Age requirements for 4-H are:
     - 4-H Clover Kids:  Ages 5-7 and in grades K-2
     - 4-H Club Member:  Ages 8-18 and in third grade or higher
 
If you would like your own 4-H club at your local school or neighborhood, you may contact the Harris County Extension Office.
 
Questions or comments?  Please send a message to info@transitionhouston.org.
 
Contact Information
Parent/Guardian

(At least one parent should commit as a club volunteer.)

Club Members
Child Member #1

Age of the child as of September 1, 2015.

(Some topics offer opportunities for local and state competition.)

What are your ideas for a Cherryhurst 4-H group focused on sustainability?

Last step:

Transition Houston 4-H Activities 2013-2014

Soldering for Electronics, March 2014
 
___  2013  ___
 
September
Learning About 4-H With Sheryl Nolen, Harris County Cooperative Extension
 
October
Bike Safety & Mechanics
 
November
JMG Activity:  Plants as Medicine
 
December
Holiday Break
 
___  2014  ___
 
January
Solar Power & The Importance of Batteries with the GBRC
 
February
T-shirt Bags with Carmen & David Reisdorf (Textiles Project)
 
March
Soldering Electronics
 
March Volunteer Project:
Permablitz with Transition Houston & Plant It Forward
 
April
Officer Nominations; Plotting 2014-2015
 
May
Officer Elections and Thank you Party
 
June, July
 
August
Welcome New Members Meeting for School Year 2014-2015
 
 
Working on 4-H sewing project, February 2014

Transition Houston 4-H Activities 2014-2015

 
Club Goals: Support families & projects related to sustainability & resilience
 
 

------------  2014  ------------

 

August

We explained 4-H and talked about our year. Leaders attended Harris County 4-H's leadership camp.

 

September

Angela Chandler taught us how to make Self-Watering Container Gardens.

October

We got some buckets from All We Need Farms, some extra PVC, and some soil and seeds and made self-watering container gardens for the community center.

Field Trip

We went to one family’s neighborhood to look at different types of backyard vegetable gardens.  We also looked at the family’s log cabin, chickens, and root cellar.

November

We did a “Food Bank Fiesta”--we tried to figure out what parts of plants the different foods we eat come from.  Then we left all our food in the Food Bank box at the community center. One weekend, some members attended a one-day 4-H cooking and food safety event at Bear Creek.

Service Project:  Care Kits for the Homeless

The club met at a family’s house and two of the members taught the others how to make t-shirt bags.  We filled them with essential toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, pens, and paper.  We took the bags to Lord of the Streets when we took our coat and clothing donation in December.

Chia pets!

 

December

First, we gathered coats from people in our community.  In the end, our club had a trunk full of coats and sweaters to deliver!  Then, we made chia pets out of panty hose and soil, and we decorated them with buttons, paint, and a hot glue gun.

 

------------  2015  ------------

 

January

We brought newspaper, soil, and seeds, and two members taught the rest of the club how to make newspaper pots for transplanting seedlings. One weekend, some 4-H'ers attended sewing service workshops at Bear Creek with 4-H and Master Gardener volunteers.

February

We experimented with using Skype, a VoIP (Voice over IP) app that allows videoconferencing.  County-level competitions began for some projects.

 

March

Harris CERT invited us to a meeting with LifeFlight from Memorial Hermann.  We watched the helicopter land and take off, and we got to talk to the paramedic, flight nurse, and pilot.

April

We took a break to get ready for D-9, a district-level competition weekend at Alvin Community College.

May

We harvested carrots from our container gardens, and took the containers home for the summer.  We talked about plans for next year.  We decided we would have more meetings over Zoom.us so that more people could come without driving so far or worrying about homework.

 
 
 
Resources:
 
Randall, Bob. Year Round Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers for Metro-Houston: A 
 
Natural Organic Approach Using Ecology. Year Round Gardening Press, 2006.
 
JMG Teacher/Leader Guide, Level One.
 
Paper Pots: http://www.gardenbetty.com/2011/03/how-to-make-recycled-
newspaper-pots-for-seed-starting/

Energy

   Mission Statement:

Learn, develop and share practical ways to make Energy Conservation
and Alternative/Renewable Energy part of everyday life.

Energy Group Meeting Notes and Events

February 15, 2012 - EG Meeting Notes

GEOTHERMAL and COB OVEN INFO HERE. SCROLL DOWN FOR NOTES.

The Energy Group met on Feb. 15, 2012 at Black Hole Coffee House in Montrose.

In attendance:

Sophie
Sarah C
Mary
Mark
Electra
Kris
Theresa

Sarah C. and Sophie gave detailed report backs on the Geothermal Home Tour. Kris gave a very detailed report on how to build a cob oven from attending David Reed's cob oven build at Super Happy Fun Land. Both reports are listed below.

Group tossed around the idea of visiting TX Rx Labs either as part of the Critical Mass monthly ride or another time.
TX Rx holds an open house every Friday and Sunday.

Theresa will be handing off EG point personage to any takers. Inquire via this website if interested.

Image of meeting notes

Sophie's Geothermal notes:

Geothermal or also called geo-exchange 
That how Kathleen and Steve called their system: is not it ?

And it is also what their contractor  (Charles Smith, working for over
two decades on geo installation) on their website as well: HVAC
geoexchange:
http://www.geoadvantage.net/home.html
From their website:

Mr. Smith is a Member of the International Ground Source Heat Pump
Association and is a Certified WaterFurnace Geo Pro Dealer. He is a
past member of the Houston Lighting and Power Heat Pump Program. Mr.
Smith holds Driscopipe fusion certification for Polyethylene piping and
has designed, installed, & serviced Geothermal Systems for over 20
years. Implementation projects have ranged from 2 to 350 tons.
Consulting projects have ranged as large as 600+ tons. Mr.
Smith studied Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington.

also from the waterfurnace website a good video;
http://www.waterfurnace.com/how-it-works.aspx

So what we saw at their house was a vertical loop system

 

 

 

HOW TO BUILD A COB (ADOBE) OVEN by Kris Graham (reviewed by David Reed)

Using broken concrete (urbanite) and Portland premix, we created a cylindrical oven base and then filled the base with debris like more broken concrete and any soil we removed from the area.

We hydrated Portland premix (Portland and sand in a dry ready to use mix) with water to mortar the broken concrete pieces into place. Wine bottles were added for decoration into the base of the oven. After peeling the pine poles using a draw knife, we dug into the ground 18 inches and sunk the poles down using a post hole digger and then tamp packed small rocks and earth around the poles to get all the air pockets out. These poles were sunk in order to form a foundation for the backs of the straw bale benches and to hold a roof over the cob oven to protect it from the elements.

We formed the base of the straw bale benches using broken concrete to form a separation between the bales and the ground. Once the bales were set in place, we sharpened some Yaupon stakes and pounded them through the bales and into the ground holding them from moving around. Using more Yaupon, we screwed the long branches to the pine posts creating a frame for a back rest and then added vertical branches pounded down into the bales.

As we built up the interior of the oven base with earth and bricks, we gauged the depth with an inverted beer bottle. Once we had a good, comfortable height then we filled the cylinder with as many upside down empty beer bottles as we could fit. This method gives us a great insulation barrier under the fire brick. Then, we filled around the bottles with sand until full. The theory here is using the bottles to create a dead air space will prevent the heat inside the oven from leeching down into the base because it is mass and will draw the heat downwards and away from the oven.

We took clay and sifted it through a screen to get out big pieces, glass or any other debris in order to make cob. Cob: The materials used are called a select mix, and it is soil and clay mixture in natural ratios that make great cob! It comes straight from the ground like this. We added water to the clay on a tarp and stomped it in. Then, we took the ends of the tarp and “taco’d” (this is the name given to folding the mix over on itself) the clay mixture and stomped it some more. Then, we added straw from straw bales and stomped some more until we got a good sticky consistency. After the cob was ready, we formed cob sweet potatoes or “loaves” which is what the word cob means, and formed a cob line of people to pass the cob loaves and put them on the bricks of the oven.

You have to be quick and know where the next cob loaf is going or you could end up getting whacked with a flying loaf! David likes to place the cob with a nice slam to the top of the base which makes sure that the cob is forced down into any and all crevices ensuring good "tooth". We formed the top of the base and the bottom of the fire brick seat. After using all the cob we created, David realized the depth + the height of the cob was now more than the length of a bottle... no worries!! We used a bit more broken concrete pieces and soil to build it up to the proper height. We then laid out the fire brick to size. Five bricks across gave us a 20" oven which is a very nice size. David mixed the high temperature mortar after setting the fire brick into place. Then, the fire brick was mortared and ready for a sand mold.

Sand Mold: After the fire brick is mortared in place, a sand mold is formed using only sand and water, much like a sand castle at the beach. Once the mold is formed, then ripped pieces of wet newspaper are used to create a separation layer, much like paper mache.

Fire Cob Layer:
The first layer over the sand mold is the fire cob layer. This is made with sand and clay with water only. David had some pure clay that he brought specifically for this layer. The ratio is about 70% sand and 30% clay. This creates a refractory layer that will get harder and harder with each firing of the oven, much like firing a piece of pottery in a kiln. This layer is about 2 inches thick.

Insulation Layer:
The insulation layer is formed next. It is a mixture of Perlite (expanded volcanic sand) and clay slip. We first mix a batch of clay slip (clay and water) to a consistency much like thick chocolate milk and then add the Perlite. We test it by packing the mix into a ball by hand and squeezing it. If it shatters, the mix is good. If it doesn't, we rework the mix until it does. The insulation properties of this mix allow for a thinner layer than one might expect. 1” of this insulation is acceptable.

So, the fire brick is mortared; the sand mold is formed; the fire cob layer is in place; the insulation layer is in place. At this point structural cob is packed around the exterior which forms the finished shape of the oven.

David found a galvanized rain gutter at the Houston Re-Use Warehouse and thought it would make a cool chimney for the oven. We added a “sloppy” batch of cob to the oven to make a rough earthen plaster and give the oven a more uniform shape. It was applied by smoothing it over the shape by hand and filling divots and misshaped areas of the oven. After the rough earthen plaster was put on, we cut brick ends using a grinder with a ceramic cutting blade to create an arched front to the oven entry. The next step is to put a lime finish plaster and do a brick cleanup.

Robert cut the front prep shelf for the oven out of a piece of composite scrap. We propped up the prep shelf with a Yaupon stick, and then David and Robert cleaned out all the bricks and sand from the inside of the cob oven. Then, David started a small fire inside the oven with some newspaper and wood shavings.

During the course of building the cob oven, we hand mixed clay, water and straw for the straw bales. Then, because hand mixing is so time consuming, we decided to use a concrete mixer to do the mixing and save time. We added clay and water to the mixer for the plastering of the bales. During this time, David added Yaupon wattles to the pine poles for a back rest for the straw bale benches. He screwed them in and now, the back rest is ready to receive cob as well.

The penetration layer had been added to the bales. This is the process of forcing the plaster up into the bales to give it a great hold on the individual straws (we forced the clay down into the bales by throwing it into the bales and smearing it by hand). After this mixture dries, it’s on to the thick cob for the seat surface. We made that cob by adding water to clay and stomping it in just as we had for the cob for the oven. Then, we added straw and stomped that in and turned the cob over and over in a tarp just as we did for the oven. We didn’t get around to cobbing the back rests because the weather did not cooperate. This oven is a work in progress, and we still have to finish the benches and make a roof to cover the cob oven.

Due to the size of this project, so far, we have spent three days and several hours building out the cob oven and the straw bale benches. I foresee another weekend or two to finish the job. Then, we can celebrate and make pizzas in the oven!

Thanks Kris!

 

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HOW TO BUILD A COB (ADOBE) OVEN.doc34 KB

January 28, 2012 - Tour de Coops + Rocket Stove Demo

TOUR de COOPS + Rocket Stove Demo

Transition members toured 4 very different chicken coops.
Coop on left, Jim and Eileen's coop.
Coop on right, Ilya and Brian's coop.

The two other coops were Eileen's neighbor's small convalescent coop
and Theresa and Keith's chicken condo. Eileen and Jim's coop is
a co-op coop maintained by the Japhet Creek Community.

A Japhet Creek hen on left, Ilya's hen on right.

What do coops have to do with energy?
After the tour folks held a potluck/skillshare to test out two rocket stoves.
 

Below is a decent photo of the green Stove Tec rocket stoves used.


 

 

 

January 21, 2012 - EG Geothermal Home Tour

Image left, Houston Transition member Steve S. gives a tour of his
newly installed Geothermal setup. EG members are standing over
the underground geothermal wells.

Image right, EG member Mary admires Sophie's Icynene Spray Foam
Insulation.Last month EG member Sarah hosted our Whiskey Happy Hour
and members admiredSarah's foam insulated attic. On Sarah recommendation,
Sophie used Diversifed Thermal to install spray foam in her attic as well.

The geothermal house also included a sheet drained cistern located under
the permeable driveway. The cistern fills with runoff from the higher parts of
the lot as well as runoff from the neighboring yard. A solar-powered pump makes
the cistern water available for outdoor watering.

EG members where also given a tour of the newly remodeled house which
included clay plaster interior walls and recycled glass countertops. Many of
the finishes were purchased in the neighborhood from New Living, a green
building supply store.

Sophie hosted the EG members and from her house members walked or biked
over to the geothermal house. Underfoot on the walk over were at least 3 edible
weeds growing in the cracks: chickweed, purslane and amaranth.

Thanks to Steve and Kathleen for a very informative tour.

Geothermal Home Tour notes can be found here.

 

December 12, 2011 - EG Whiskey Sipping Happy Hour at Sarah C's

   

The Energy Group's Whiskey Sipping Happy Hour at Sarah C's

Tiny blurry cellphone photos from left to right:

The Whisky Grotto, John in awe of the Whiskey Grotto

Sophie in Sarah's attic admiring her Icynene spray foam insulation.

Thanks to Sarah C for hosting us.

November 5, 2011 - Alternative Energy Cooking Demo at LOOP

The Transition Houston Energy Group
demonstrated non-fossil-fueled ways of preparing food at the Last Organic Outpost's FarmFest on Nov. 5, 2011.

3 solar ovens were demonstrated, 2 were homemade. 1 courtesy Nell Wheeler and the other built with scraps
from the City of Houston Building Materials Reuse Warehouse. The Sun Oven was on loan from the
City of Houston Green Building Resource Center.

 

Kris Graham with the Transition Houston Energy Group explains the science behind a solar oven.

 

The solar ovens garnered a lot of interest. Folks from Occupy Houston came by to see them and get pointers on
building their own. Nell Wheeler dropped her solar oven off to the Occupy encampment that evening.

 

David and Tamina Reed with Texas Natural Builders baked pizzas in the cob oven David's company built at the Farm.

 

A StoveTec rocket stove and a simple homemade rocket stove were on display.

 

Pat Greer with Pat Greer's Raw, Vegan Kitchen did a raw food preparation using freshly picked greens from the garden
and dehyrdrated veggie chips from her Kitchen.

 


Thanks to all the builders, cooks and volunteers for giving the public alternative cooking options.

October 2011 EG Meeting Notes

September 29, 2011 - HAUS Project + Thermegy Home Audit Presentations

The HAUS Project, Houston's own, cooperative housing created for affordability and sustainability, received a complimentary home energy audit from Steven Gammill of Thermegy Home Audits. Thermegy uses thermal infrared scanning technology to detect conductive heat loss, moisture, duct leaks and potential electrical hazards. HAUS and other audit findings were presented along with energy saving tips.

Steven passed around the infrared scanner gun for partcipates to play with. As in the photo above, the scanner picks up heat as red and cold (and moisture) as blue. Participants showed up as red and orange against backgrounds of green and blue.

Matthias Jung with the HAUS Project gave an informative presentation of how the HAUS Project came into being and the sustainable features they have added to the house such as split air conditioners, driving a veggie diesel car and/or biking and catching rain water to flush toilets. Also by living in cooperative housing, resources are saved by sharing space and reducing the cost of living overall.

The presentation was held at the Green Building Resource Center. The GBRC offers friendly interactive features and displays for green building, remodeling and renovations solutions.

Thanks to Mary, Kris and Sophie for providing excellent refreshments.

September 8, 2011 - EG Meeting Notes

July 25, 2011 - EG Meeting Notes

June 25, 2011 - Solar Oven Field Tests + Pallet Reuse Workshop

Two demostrations were held by the Energy Group at the City of Houston's Building Materials Reuse Warehouse

David Reed with Texas Natural Builders demostrates how to disassemble a pallet.
David has built furniture and even a house using reclaimed pallets.

Checkout his website for photos.

Out in the sun, solar ovens baked cookies.




 

 

 


 



 

April 23, 2011 - Cob Oven Build at the Gonzales

 

    

     

 

 

 

   

    

 

 

   

 

    

   

 

 

April 15, 2011 - HCC Solar Open House Outreach

Energy Group members, Surabhi and Theresa tabled at the Houston Community
College Solar Open House on April 15, 2011. The open house was attended by
educators, solar industry leaders and students looking for career opportunities in
alternative energy. EG members had two solar ovens on hand. A homemade one
and Surabhi's Sun Sport that was still warm from baking cookies.

Thanks to organizer Matthias Jung for inviting us to table the event.

April 9, 2011 - Outreach at Last Organic Outpost's Open House

EG member Jess explains the principles of a solar oven.

April 3, 2011 - EG Meeting Notes

March 23, 2011 - 1st Meeting of the Energy Group

The 1st Transition Houston Energy Group met on Wed. March 23, 2011 at Sedition Books
for a brief, but productive brain-storming session after the screening of Gasland, a disturbing film about fracking and the natural gas industry in general.

In attendance:
Sarah C.
Paul
Surabhi
Theresa
Keith

Image: This is what we used as a guideline for the 1st Transition Houston Energy Group Brain-storming Session.

 

 

Image: The first set of EG brainstorming/meeting notes.
 

Energy Group Resources

IN TOWN RESOURCES

City of Houston's Building Materials Reuse Warehouse
Diverts resuable building material from the landfill and provides it free to non-profits.
Located at 9003 N. Main, Houston TX 77022

City of Houston's Green Building Resource Center
 
Showcases to the public, examples of energy-saving building materials such as solar, green-roofs, no VOC paints, etc.,
all housed in a LEED building.
Located at 1002 Washington Ave, Houston TX 77002

The HAUS Project
Houston Access to Urban Sustainability Project. Houston's first sustainable co-op housing project with many resource-saving features.

Sheldon Lake State Park
LEED certified Learning Center, Solar array, solar hot water heater and more.
Located in east Houston TX

Texas Natural Builders
Offers classes on cob building, rocket stoves, pallet reuse and more.
Located in Houston and Waller TX

TX Rx Labs
Offers classes in electronic circuitry, music composition, 3D printing, computer science and so much more.
Located at 2010 Commerce, Houston TX 77002 (check address as they are moving to a bigger place soooooon.)

Diversified Thermal
Offers Icynene Spray Foam Insulation. Used and recommended by EG members Sarah C. and Sophie.
 

 

DAY TRIP DISTANCE:

Industrial Country Market 
Offers classes on solar and hydroponics.
Located in Columbus TX. A super groovy place to visit.

Shangri-La Botanical Gardens
LEED Learning Center with many alternative energy features.
Located in Orange TX

Animal Farm
Off-grid Permaculture Center
Located in Catsprings TX
 

SKILLSHARES

How to Build a Cob Oven

 

HOUSTON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY GROUPS

Houston Advance Research Center

Houston Renewable Energy Group

 

 

 

Food

Food Action Group Mission:

To increase resiliency in the local food supply through building awareness, linking people and organizations, working on practical projects, building community, while having fun.

Minutes

Food Action Group meeting minutes

April 21, 2010

The following people were in attendance:

Mark Juedeman

Cindy Yepez

Erin Eriksen

Bob Randall

Jan Kindel

 

Project updates:

Cindy-fruit and nut trees on city property:

Bob gave Cindy several people to contact about this project.  Cindy will pursue.

 

Erin-Google map of local food sources:

Erin has found several maps already out there and will continue to monitor to see if there is an unfilled niche.

 

Mark-increase number of CSA’s in the area:

At Bob’s suggestion we will all try to learn why farmers choose Farmer’s Markets over CSA’s and vise versa.  What are the pluses and minuses.

 

Announcements:

Jan shared  news from the Food Policy Workgroup:

Their goals include developing a proposal for a Regional Food Policy Council, create a local food guide, provide a regional food assessment and facilitate Farmer’s Markets ability to accept food stamps.

 

New Business:

Mark sent out an e-mail and then talked with us about the needs at Berry Elementary School.  There are several exciting projects in the works and they are asking for help.  Mark will talk with Lori Kelleher, the Magnet Coordinator, about setting a meeting time to discuss their needs and how Transition Houston might collaborate with them.

Bob gave us some history and advice on farm tour opportunities.  Some possibilities include renting a bus, give map and drive own car, provide food with recipes and a chef, pick your own, cater food and take with.  It was decided to target fall but meet with Urban Harvest to learn level of their commitment before summer.  Mark will pursue setting a meeting date.

February 17, 2010

PRESENT:

Mark Juedeman

Cindy Yepez

Erin Eriksen

Jan Kindel

 

MISSION:

To increase resiliency in the local food supply through building awareness, linking people and organizations, working on practical projects, building community, while having fun.

 

PROJECTS: 

  • Google map of local food sources – Erin champion
  • Increase number of CSA’s in the area
  • Provide farm tours
  • Plant fruit and/or nut trees on city property
  • Perma blitz – plant front or back yard into food garden

Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

Mission statement

Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul

The purpose of the heart and soul action group is to support each other in taking concrete actions in our personal private lives to move ourselves away from consumerism and towards simplicity, service, and respect for all forms of life.

We meet the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, at 6:30-8:00pm at a private residence.

We share information on upcoming meetings via Facebook and through an email distribution list. 

 

Meeting Minutes

Below are some notes from recent meetings of the Transition Houston Heart & Soul action group, to give you an idea of the type of discussions that occur.

The best way to find out is to come see for yourself!  We welcome ALL.  Our group is an inclusive and safe space for everyone.

 

10 July 2014 meeting notes:
More new faces at Heart & Soul!  HOORAY!  What a blessing these meetings are.  A question was posed, and each person shared uninterrupted on their reactions to the question.  The question dealt with how one might hold people accountable and/or assist people in taking action on the issues of our day to create a more beautiful world, if those people do not come from a privileged background.  After the "sharing" portion of the meeting, we discussed plans for the Heart & Soul action group to host the October general meeting of Transition Houston.  It will be a FUN program you won't want to miss, and will involve each of you in creating something beautiful together.  At the end of the meeting we renewed our commitments to habit change.  People are working on things as varied as biking to work, meditation, meal planning, and ending their use of disposable cleaning products.  Taken individually, these may seem like small steps, but collectively they represent big change.
 

We are still adhering for the next few months to our meeting format which is loosely based on 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, but with a non-violence twist, and focused on celebrating our sobriety from consumerism, as opposed to alcohol. 

Future Meetings
We continue meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 6:30pm.  For location, email Megan Parks or Nell Warnes
 
 
 
22 May 2014 meeting notes:
We welcomed another newcomer and shared a delicious veggie pot pie made by Nell's culinary genius of a husband.  I am so glad to see new faces at our meetings, along with some of our regulars.  It is a privilege to be in your presence. Each person read the same 2 page excerpt from a book on happiness, and shared uninterrupted on their reactions to it. Afterwards we continued with a general discussion on happiness, consumerism, culture, and choice, reviewed our habit commitments with each other and adjourned

 

24 April 2014 meeting notes:

We had a smaller than normal group; in fact it was just 2 people, who had a good discussion.  I hope more of you will find space to come out this month. Embodying simplicity often requires moving against the powerful current of our mainstream culture.  It can be so hard to do this work alone, and I know that I for one really need you guys!

Housing

Housing Group

Mission Statement

Introduction to Transition

Introduction to Transition

Mission statement

Local Economy

What is The Crash Course

What is The Crash Course, and what is it about? Here is Chris Martenson responding to a question from Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement, as posted on www.transitionculture.org:

I would say that there’s an amazingly high chance that there’s going to be an enormous change in our future. The economy is the way in which we organise ourselves, it’s how we get things done, it’s the living, breathing creature that surrounds our daily lives and so we have a commanding interest in its health and well-being – certainly the events of 2008 have really brought that to the forefront of people. But the economy doesn’t exist by itself – it’s intimately connected to, and feeds upon resources that come out of the earth, human resources, all kinds of resources.

I connect the economic ‘e’ to another ‘e’, which is energy. There’s enough information out there around the concept that we might be nearing peak energy. Peak oil in particular – people owe it to themselves to take a good, hard look at that particular story. Then I extended into the environment, that being the third ‘e’. There I’m really looking at resources, all kinds of resources – phosphorous, copper, uranium or any of the other resources that we get from the earth. When we put all three of these ‘e’s into one spot, it seems very likely that the ways in which things have been working up until now is not the same way things will continue to work.

More information about Chris Martenson and the Crash Course can be found here:
http://www.chrismartenson.com/

Local Economy Action Group

Mission Statement

Meeting Minutes

Meaningful Work

Meaningful Work  

Mission Statement

Outreach - Education - Media

The goal of the education, media and outreach group is to spread the word and actions of the Transition movement by working to promote our ideas, activities and continuously come up with creative ways to express ourselves.
Meeting times will be posted on the Transition Houston calendar, so, check back frequently! If you are interested in taking part, please send email to media@transitionhouston.org.
Meeting minutes are also posted below. Everyone is welcome!

06-02-11: Media Group Minutes

There were 5 people in attendance. We began by reviewed the website outline and wish list that was put together previously. We then moved forward with prioritizing the following items as development priorities for the Transition Houston website. A complete agenda is available to download.

  1. Events calendar
  2. Picture gallery
  3. Blogs
  4. Discussions
  5. Meeting minutes

We also reviewed several of the Transition Houston resources that are already in existence, e.g.

The NING site is about $200 / year to maintain. The plan is to move to Drupal and eventually freeze the NING site so our resources are all in one place. This includes moving the TH Wordpress blog to Drupal as well while maintaining the Facebook TH presence.  

1st step will be to choose a design with input from the TH group. We plan to present the top 3 and let people vote on which one they like best.

The media group's next meeting will be virtual (stay at home and get comfortable!) and we'll be reviewing the current website content - http://www.transitionhouston.org. Meeting date / time to be announced.

Stay tuned and thanks SO much for all your support.
Sarah Gonzales

AttachmentSize
TH_MediaGroup_Agenda_6-2-11.pdf65.86 KB

Permablitz Action Group

Transition Houston's First Permablitz: Saturday, May 25, 2010

We’ve Been Blitzed!

On Saturday, May 25, 2010, Transition Houston had our first permablitz at the home of John & Sarah Gonzales.

John & I were introduced to the concept of a permablitz when my brother Charlie Lindahl (aka Cyberchuck) attended the kick-off meeting for Transition Houston in July 2009 and was the winner of a drawing for the first ever Houston permablitz! He was gracious enough to offer it to us when he decided he couldn’t use it and the rest is history.

So… we were the recipients of Houston’s first “permablitz”. Just look at how much fun we had!

Permablitz Team

Permablitz Team

This is the before:

This is the after:

Our compost bin is built out of a food grade trash can and turns 360 degrees for “mixing”. So.. rather than all that waste going into the landfills, it’ll be used to provide nutrients to our yard and gardens!

Compost Bin Finished

Compost Bin Finished

We had 19 volunteers who absolutely transformed our backyard in a matter of about 4 hours time! We

  • built a compost container
  • planted a small herb garden and
  • prettied up the landscape around our newly planted (and budding!!) blueberry and blackberry bushes / vines

The Permablitz tradition is that you become eligible to have your yard blitzed after you’ve volunteered for 3 previous blitzes.  You just need a desire and space for an edible garden, are available for the pre-blitz design visit(s), and pay for the agreed plants and materials.

Words cannot express how grateful and appreciative we are of all the great people who volunteered to participate in our permablitz experience!

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Our sponsor was Transition HoustonMark Juedeman, Founder of Transition Houston

Marybeth Seligmann – Permablitz Coordinator

Shawn McFarland – Permaculture Designer / Permablitz Coordinator

Nancy Edwards – Permaculture Designer / Permablitz Coordinator

Theresa Keefe – Permablitz mentor

THANK YOU in different languages

What is a Permablitz?

Permablitz (noun): An informal gathering involving a day on which a group of at least two people come together to achieve the following:

  • create or add to edible gardens where someone lives
  • share skills related to permaculture and sustainable living
  • build community networks
  • have fun

Permablitzes are free events, open to the public, where you learn a lot, share food, get some exercise and have a wonderful time.

Transportation

Transportation Action Group

The Transportation Action Group (TAG!) is a part of Transition Houston.  We are focused on learning how to better get around on our own power and with public transportation.  We also support the efforts of our local Transition-friendly transportation advocates.

We like to share great links, event notifications, and other information using Facebook's Groups interface.  Join the discussion here!

Learn about the Cherryhurst Bike Event by visiting us on Facebook!

 

TAG Events

TAG Events

Since 2011 the Transportation Action Group has:

- Attended community meetings to help advocate for trails, sidewalks, bike parking, and other sustainable mobility projects

- Invited Desmond Startin from Performance Bike to talk about how to gear up for transportation cycling

- Invited Peter Wang from Citizens' Transportation Coalition to talk about cycling in Houston safely

- Enjoyed two free bicycle repair classes at Performance Bike

- Invited Metro to discuss intermodal transportation and bring a bus bike rack so we could practice mounting our bikes on the rack

- Put together Cherryhurst Bikes in 2013 with co-sponsors BetterHouston, BikeHouston, Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the Community Transformation Initiative with dozens of local partners

- Put together a bike rodeo in 2012 in the Houston Heights with volunteers from BikeHouston, Episcopal High School, Central City Co-Op, and La Reina Vegana

- Hosted a nine-hour League of Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101 class to get transportation cyclists travelling Houston streets safely and efficiently.

On the Xtracycle pony bike

 

More projects and activities are in store--join us!

350.org Houston Bike to Party and Bike to Build

 


The Transition Houston Transportation Action Group (TAG!) has hosted speakers and attended events all year.  In September some of us attended the 350.org Houston Bike to Party and Bike to Build events.  Who do you know in the picture below?350.org Houston Bike to Party group in front of City Hall

Urban Design

Urban Design

Mission statement

Water

Water Action Group

Mission Statement


The purpose and goal for the Transition Houston Water Action Group is to education, bring awareness and develop functional strategies of sustainable water ecosystems within Houston and the Greater Houston Area.

The Water Action Group is geared to work along side other Action Groups to support their initiatives when water concerns are involved and developing a rapport with local environmentalist, business owners (concerning water), and Public Representatives.

The Water Action Group is driven to educate both the young and well aged citizens with basic, technical and innovative water conservation strategies. Through lectures from members and guest hosts, presentations and events, the action groups will find ways to bring awareness to the public in the most broad way possible.

The ultimate goal for this action group is a transition Houston, in which the greater public is making changes to create a sustainable environment for generations to come.