Transition Streets is a neighborhood carbon reduction program developed by Transition Totnes in the UK. This program provides a curriculum for neighbors to come together over the course of 7 meetings to learn and take action in five areas (food, energy, water, transportation, and waste). The focus of the curriculum is on low-cost (or no-cost) actions that result in lowering both expenses and carbon footprint.
Transition US worked with a cohort of piloteers to implement the project the past few months, and have generated quite a buzz! Transition Town-Bozeman is one of these piloteers and Transition Streets-Bozeman facilitator Christopher J Thompson was introduced to Amy Snelling of the Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition who was hosting a Sustainability Series at Wild Joes that was comparable to the Transition Streets curriculum.
Also during this time Chris happened upon a quaint little restaurant, Desert Rose, located in downtown Belgrade and the first thing he noticed was a fireplace that had a small sign that read “biodiesel”. Inquiring and discussing it with the owner, Chris found the restaurant to be right in line with the sustainability agenda, learning the restaurant is heated exclusively with Biodiesel sold to the company by Full Circle Biodiesel in Four Corners.
Shortly after this educational experience, Chris was invited to partake in an Alternative Fuel Curriculum in Jackson, WY being hosted by the YTCEC. While learning a myriad of school related curriculum to educate third graders through adults, he noticed a public transportation bus pass the class window that displayed it was run off “electric + biodiesel”. Realizing Bozeman is in line with this progressive way of thinking, Chris contacted both Full Circle Biodiesel and Streamline Bus to figure out how they could join forces and follow suit.
The first meeting between the two entities resulted in contact with Story Distributing and the Montana Department of Transportation who agreed to help implement the program in Gallatin County, installing a dedicated tank to the project that Streamline can utilize at no additional cost. So the next time you use Bozeman’s Free Public Transit, smile as you remember that you are being transported burning waste from our local restaurants that is better for the vehicle’s engine, not to mention our environment. Perhaps, after Bozeman ensures the viability of this important social project, MDT will replicate this throughout the entire state of Montana?
By Christopher J Thompson