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Kinsale TT - Feb 2009

Transition Times - February 2009

Vicky Heslop, the president of the Irish Bio-Energy Association was the guest at a January meeting in the Trident Hotel, to help us understand if Kinsale is a viable town in which to establish a community anaerobic digester, turning waste into fertiliser and gas/electricity. The resulting energy could be used to power a leisure centre, a hospital, or school; and residents and farmers would have access to high quality fertiliser. All of which is done with huge reductions in transport and waste management costs.   
The conclusion that emerged is ‘Yes’. Kinsale is an ideal place to do this, and Vicky explained schemes in Europe and elsewhere in Ireland where digesters are already doing good things. It could even make the town smell nicer!
What is required now is a site, a group of local farmers and businesses who want to save, and possibly even make some money, a town and county council prepared to support such a voluntary initiative, and some professional project management skills.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the local farming community, the Chamber of Tourism, Town Council, potential site owners, independent business folk and residents.

The recommended next step is to apply for funding for a feasibility study, so now is the time to register your own suggestions, and to tell others you think may be interested. A copy of the presentation made at the meeting is available free. Apply to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A big smiley award goes to those who attended.


What is your vision for a sustainable Kinsale in 2020? Here is an ideal opportunity to have your say. A number of people in Kinsale have expressed interest in becoming more involved in TTK and its projects but aren’t sure how to go about it. On 7th March next, TTK are hosting a special daytime event at the Carmelite Friary, open to members of the public to discuss such matters.

Here are some possible outcomes:

•    Producing a list of practical projects for the community

•    Finding people who would like to help run those projects

•    Setting up small working groups to take on the projects

•    Eventually rewriting the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan – the document that kick-started the whole Transition process in Kinsale in 2005.

Watch this space for more details.


Another date for your diaries is Saturday 25th April when we will be hosting the annual Spring Fair. Last year’s event proved highly successful so this year we hope to be even more entertaining, exciting, informative and fun.

The first planning meeting was held on Tuesday 27th January when a number of volunteers formed working groups to run a market, children’s events, competitions for primary school children and the evening concert. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 24th February in Hamlet’s VIP Lounge, so if you’d like to get involved or just volunteer for an hour or two on the day, come along and join in the fun.

It is hoped to have a Community Powerdown Exhibition at the Fair, where you can share your Powerdown story – let us know how you have saved on your energy bill in your home or business.  Have you or your business made any new year’s resolution to save energy?

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to share your stories, pictures and ideas.


In a hugely important and exciting development in the ongoing story and expansion of the Transition Movement, Transition has been welcomed with open arms in the USA. Transition has been called a huge social experiment, and with their love of adventure and willingness to embrace change, Americans in almost all 50 States are flocking to Transition Training seminars in order to learn how to rebuild community resilience and self-reliance. Knowing how Americans like to take initiative, we believe it will be a great success.


The New Year has got underway (although the weather is trying its best to stop us) with the continuation of winter maintenance jobs. In December paths were lined with wood, a new wood chip path laid and a strawberry pyramid constructed from recycled pallets. The garden is looking a lot different from November and it’s a pleasure to see it progress! We will continue this year to finish off the sheltered area which will extend off the shed and to line the new beds to create maximum growing space for the coming season.


We’re really excited about getting growing and given the weather the past two years we’re convinced it’s going to be a scorcher! Seeds have been ordered and early salads are soon to be sown. It’s really hoped that we can pack the garden full of yummy veggies for our volunteers to share and enjoy. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So come the summer we hope to have lettuce, peas, courgettes, tomatoes, spuds, broccoli and much, much more flowing over the sides of the beds.

To optimise this we’re looking forward to trying out lots of space saving techniques in a 6 week course this spring. The course will be for those looking to learn about the basics of growing and see how that can be used in their own garden, patio or window box. So even if a lack of space limits you, we’ll show you the tips and tricks to maximise the space you didn’t know you had. The course will be kicked off with an evening talk and fundraiser in March (date to be finalised) to give you a feel for the subject and gain inspiration for the coming year. So do come along to this event or the garden and see what it’s all about. Work days Sundays 1-4pm.


‘I think we may be on the cusp of the most surprising social change in our lifetimes: a rediscovery of the pleasures to be had in thrift, in simplicity and in parochialism.

We've had decades of the reverse - spending money we don't have; over-complicating everything from high finance to how food reaches our plates; and meekly allowing global conglomerates to trample local interests almost everywhere you look. Where has it got us? We're broke, and so are our communities. It's time to try something different.

My parents' generation darned their socks, patched their jackets, walked or cycled to work with a lunchbox of Spam sandwiches and a flask of tea, and scrimped and saved so that they could pay for the occasional luxury with cash on the nail. It was called “living within your means”. Readers under 40 may not have heard that phrase before. I wouldn't wish the return of Spam on anyone. But the rest? A new Age of Austerity might be quite refreshing. And bustling, vibrant market halls, cheap and cheerful on every high street, could be part of the fun.’

- Richard Morrison, The Times, 20th January.


When did we all stop using soap and start using shower gel? Does anyone use a simple bar of soap anymore? Clearly they do or the shops wouldn’t stock them. But the shelves seem to be weighted in favour of countless plastic bottles of expensive and artificially coloured gloop to smother all over our hair and bodies. As far as sustainability goes, bar soap wins hands down. A bar of soap will not only last longer than an equivalent quantity of gel and therefore save money in these hard times, but it doesn’t come in a plastic bottle that is made from oil and will need to be shipped to China for recycling. You can also buy natural, locally produced, environmentally friendly bars of soap which are kinder to your skin and the environment after the suds have been washed down the drain.

Transition Town Kinsale is always looking for ideas and suggestions so if you have anything you’d like to offer or contribute you can contact us at 087 7839446, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.