This post is written by our Research Facilitator. Katherine has a PhD from the University of St Andrews in the Department of Geography and Sustainable Development. You can find more about her research on her website and Katherine tweets as@Ellsworth_Krebs. Email her at email@example.com.
Those who have stopped by 7 Woodburn Place in the last week or so have been commenting on how great the office is looking. The team has started the process of rebranding and redecorating, and if you pop by you can already help yourself to free veg from the garden, our bicycle maintenance kit, and a few freebie eco-products.
It is amazing going through our storage room and bookshelves filled with reminders of Transition’s rich history. Six years of funded community sustainability campaigns, activities and events alongside numerous student-led initiatives comes with some baggage. A bee costume and blow up tree, kitchen caddies for a research project on food waste, numerous awards and news articles, fabric for home-made draught excluders, Saint Exchange directory binders, energy monitors, and heaps of (sometimes suggestive) promotional material.
It is fun to reflect on how many individuals have been supported by Transition and also made it what it is today. Some items spark a lot of memories, while others I only have a vague knowledge of. Indeed, even though I have been involved since 2010 I am aware that I know only a fraction of the people and projects that Transition has been involved with and in.
I have been pleasantly surprised to see pictures of events I attended years ago and faces of friends who are no longer in St Andrews. The Carbon Conversations banner includes our very first project officers and facilitator training course, it’s nice to remember back to our first round of funding with Jamie Peters, Carol-Ann Cunningham and Rebecca Petford. A stash of KeepCups is a tribute to the efforts of Claire Rampen 2011-12, who was an undergraduate when the Main Library was refurbished. At that time the newly opened café led to overflowing disposable cups and travel mugs were not allowed in the coffee machine, Claire got the University to invest in KeepCups as a way to reduce this waste. One of the original ‘Green Guides’ reminds me of the University’s second sustainability intern Lucy Arndt and all the fun we had. The old Bike Pool posters bring back memories of Tucker Diego and dedicated team of volunteers that were hugely influential in the first year to get the project set up. I wonder what they are all doing these days and how their time in St Andrews and involvement with Transition has impacted where they are now.
It has been an indulgent trip down memory lane and I hope in the weeks and months to come that I am able to capture more of Transition’s past — if you have been involved with Transition and want to tell us a story about an event you organised, project that went well or even failures that we can learn from please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org)!