It’s been 4 years since Transition Streets made its debut in the U.S., and 8 years since it was first developed and launched in Totnes, England. A lot has changed since then! New research expanded what we know about the benefits of saving water and eating organic. New regulations restrict or guide what people and communities can and can’t do. And resources to help households take their next steps in sustainability have greatly increased.

This 2019 revision of the Transition Streets handbook not only captures what’s new, it includes additional information to consider in how we think about the lives we lead and the changes we want to make. For example:

  • Instead of the 3 R’s of REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, we’re capturing the new 5 R’s, which includes REFUSE and ROT. Thinking about what we need versus what we want, and digging into the reasons why we consume is foundational to reducing our consumption without feeling deprived.
  • The folks at Story of Stuff are releasing a new video on the role of plastic and they have a project for teens. We’ve added information about that as a resource for families that want to engage their children and teens.
  • We’ve added more information about saving precious water resources, including a section on harvesting rainwater and reusing greywater or using some traditional water-saving methods like olla pots* and hugelkultur**. If you live in a state experiencing drought, you’ll want to review this section carefully.

So even if you have used the earlier version of Transition Streets, you may want to revisit the project and go through it again! Visit the Transition Streets website at for everything you need to know to implement Transition Streets in your neighborhood.


Lovely Greens, “How to make DIY Ollas —Low Tech Self-Watering Systems for Plants“ June 26, 2017

** Permaculture, “The Many Benefits of Hugelkultur,” October 17 2013