Taking the Transition Challenge: Bettie the Bus Initiative

  • May 30, 2013 · 6:30 PM
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Wouldn't it be neat to travel around the country in a veggie-oil and solar bus talking about sustainability and helping people with transition projects?

Come break bread and learn about the Bettie the Bus Initiative!

Our guest speakers, Ian Toal  and Lesley Heyl are continuously trying to outfit their Bus, Bettie, to be a model of sustainable-living, so the bus can be used as a teaching tool both regionally and nationally. Ian and Lesley are working at the intersection of advocacy and action: they want to help create movement toward a more environmentally focused, sustainable world. They meet people where they are - physically, emotionally, and ideologically; and help them with whatever they are working on to that end.

Join us to learn about the bus, the transition work happening around the country and the projects they have worked with others on along the way.

At this event you will:

  • Learn how other communities are organizing for transition
  • Have a tour of Bettie the Bus including details about how she runs, and where she's been
  • Learn about the many community projects that Lesley and Ian do when they arrive in a place were people are getting their sustainability on.

The agenda will go as follows...

6:30 - Potluck BBQ in Lincoln Park
7:00 - Opening and Presentation
7:30 - Tour of the Veggie Bus
8:00 - Questions and Closing Circle

Bettie the Bus

Bettie is a blue mini-1995 Chevy School Bus, that has been converted to run on waste vegetable oil. She has a solar panel mounted on the roof, and the interior (built into an RV) is built with all reused and/or renewable materials. She has traveled the country (with two dedicated, passionate individuals), and arrived with her storage compartments full of tools and teaching tools in order to support u and promote sustainable-living and alternative energy usage. She carries Lesley, Ian, and a little cat named Kobra in around the country. They work with non-profit organizations, community groups, organic farmers, and interested individuals on promoting their environmentally-oriented or community-oriented projects.


Lesley Heyl

Lesley has lived and worked all around New England, on the East Coast of the USA, and overseas as well. Her background is in Natural Resource Conservation/Management, and in non-profit Program Management: organizational development, coordinating events and activities, facilitating workshops and community conversations, and in enhancing and performing training programs.

Lesley believes that change happens on an interpersonal level, and that a cause can only gain movement with the inclusion of a community- a group of dedicated and passionate individuals. To build on that, she beleives that each person, empowered, can take on a new role toward a new world. She uses facilitated conversations where everyone has a chance to feel heard and where his/her opinions, experience, and knowledge are honored.

After traveling the country working with non-profit organizations, organic farmers, community groups, and interested individuals on sustainable-living initiatives; she has witnessed the transition model and how communities can work together.


Ian Toal

Ian has spent years living and working year-round in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a naturalist, self-taught herbalist, and avid camper; he enjoyed the beauty and natural resources the Whites had to offer. After years of experience in mechanical design, construction, and in applied engineering; He recently has been interested in transferring/applying my skills to the environmental technology industry.

I am inspired by the transition movement as a modern way to create an interdependent community where everyone’s skills, abilities and knowledge are given value and respect. I'm passionate about seeing a transition movement form in Portland and growing a connection with the people who share that vision.

Join or login to comment.

  • Rachel L.

    "Turn the key."

    May 30, 2013

  • Courtney

    Hopefully I'll be moving back in town in the next few weeks if I figure out housing stuff, making it easier to attend awesome get togethers like this! I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with you guys several weeks ago and I hope I get the opportunity again!

    1 · May 29, 2013

  • Erin

    So many good things going on in this group--I can't wait to actually be able to attend one! Big networking event that night. . .

    1 · May 27, 2013

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