A LOCAL initiative is under way to improve the sustainability of communities in the Yarra Ranges.
Transition MOOKY was formed last year to decide how the concept of a 'transition town' could be applied to the Montrose, Mooroolbark and Kilsyth regions.
Co-ordinating group member Bronwen Dunn says a transition town focuses on sustainability and using only the necessary amount of resources.
"It's about re-localising and moving away from globalisation and looking at how we can provide for our needs in a local area," she says.
This can involve measures such as producing and buying local produce, swapping clothes, and decreasing carbon emissions and petrol usage.
"It's about bringing these issues to a local level. A lot of the techniques to get the community on board are based around 'what does the community already have' and builds on those. We identify what groups are already out there and work with them."
She says a core group steers the organisation but there is no formal structure. "None of us are experts. The key thing about the transitional model is we're residents like everyone else.
"It's about coming together as a group of interested citizens and looking at what we can achieve."
Ms Dunn says a recent group initiative was a successful clothes-swap last month. "There was a lot of interest. We have another swap in November."
Yarra Ranges residents can learn more about Transition MOOKY and its activities at an information session today.
The session is at the Bridge Community Garden Centre, 49 Durham Road, Kilsyth, at 1pm and will feature a discussion of the transitional town project and how the group hopes to apply the ideas to its three communities.
Transition MOOKY also meets at the centre at 6pm on the first Sunday of each month. Details: 97251932, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.