March Green Coffee - news
1. Measuring Air Quality
The Built Environment
Sustainable Merton intends to buy an air quality meter so that they can provide an air quality measurement service to other groups in Merton. This would allow a better understanding of the pattern of air pollution throughout the day, in different weather conditions and with particular situations like the canyon effect (when tall buildings trap pollution). The information could be used as evidence in planning and transport decisions and for healthy choices like 'walk to school' routes for children. So far, Colliers Wood Residents' Association and Wimbledon East Hillside Residents' Association want to use the service. Sustainable Merton would like to know who else would be interested. If you are, please contact Curt at email@example.com or Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a statement from Curt (Sustainable Merton's Air Quality Leader) to explain how the air quality monitoring service would work:
London Sustainability eXchange (LSx) have an air quality meter. They loan their 'service' out to groups across London. This 'service' entails accompanying group members on an air quality monitoring session. During the session LSx use the air quality meter to collect data and, where requested, demonstrate to group members how to operate the monitor. LSx then take the meter back to their offices where the data is downloaded, interpreted, and then shared with the concerned parties. They do not normally 'loan' the meter itself.
This is the service provision model that Sustainable Merton will follow once they have purchased their own air quality meter (which will cost several thousand pounds). Local groups will be able to purchase the 'service'. (They will not initially be able to actually 'borrow' the meter itself.)
LSx have agreed to loan their air quality meter to Sustainable Merton during the next month or so, and are soon to provide us with an actual loan date. The loan of the LSx meter will be for a period of approximately 2 weeks. This will be predominately be an 'in-house' training period to help Sustainable Merton get to grips with using the equipment, installing and using the software, and interpreting and presenting the data. All in preparation for when funds are secured and Sustainable Merton purchases their own meter (not long now). This way we can 'hit the ground running'.
2. Air Fresheners
Air fresheners can be used thoughtlessly, as not everyone wants to breathe in the vapours. And for people with bronchial problems, they can be a health hazard. It was suggested that an air extractor (with a heat exchanger) would be a better solution to remove an unpleasant smell. Another suggestion was to dab a fragrance onto a light bulb.
3. Future Wimbledon - taking forward the ideas
Many great ideas have been put forward for Wimbledon Town Centre by lots of interesting groups. Big changes are likely, with several major developments already being planned – Crossrail 2, a new sports stadium in Plough Lane, Gap Rd and development of the station yards in the centre of Wimbledon – and it’s important that the voice of local groups is heard in deciding the future for Wimbledon.
A Wimbledon Community Conference is being planned for 13th June from 10am-12.30 pm at the YMCA. This meeting is open to community groups who see themselves as ‘the heart and soul of the Town Centre’ and who want to take part in planning our future Town Centre. If you represent such a group, then please get in touch with Leigh at email@example.com. We hope to have about 20 groups take part (£10 per table, to cover costs). The event will be open to the public and is non-partisan.
Recycling & Waste
4. Stop the Incinerator Campaign
An incinerator is planned for Beddington Lane in Sutton. This will burn waste from Merton, Sutton, Kingston and Croydon, that would otherwise go to landfill. There are several fears.
A recent article in the Wimbledon Guardian indicated that Viridor wants to build a larger incinerator than the one already approved and if it doesn't get this, then it may pull out of the £1bn project. See HERE
- Once the incinerator is built, there will be an incentive to send waste there rather than reducing or recycling waste. The incinerator will operate 24 hours a day for 25 years and if insufficient waste is generated locally, it will have to be shipped in. Recycling rates in Hammersmith and other boroughs fell sharply when they started using the Belvedere incinerator in Bexley. See HERE
- There are concerns about pollution from the plant including dioxins. An extra high chimney won't remove pollution, just spread it over a wider area.
- Waste will be taken there by lorry causing pollution and congestion. So that local residents can know the impact of these extra lorry movements, it's hoped to use the air quality meter to build up a picture of air pollution before any building work begins.
- The site of the incinerator will be in the new Wandle Regional Park.
5. Waste - a hot topic!
Waste is a controversial subject and here are some of the comments made at March Green Coffee:
6. Food Waste Liners
- Rather than building an incinerator, it would be much better to focus on reducing waste at source e.g. from supermarkets.
- On complaining to Tesco about the amount of packaging, a local employee was told that Tesco will be charging for plastic bags (a 5p charge will be introduced in England in October 2015) and plastic bottles will become refundable.
- Landfill or incineration should only be considered for the 1% of waste that can't be eliminated or recycled, not the 60%. We should all take action by rejecting over-packaged goods.
- Not everyone can choose on the basis of packaging, as they have to buy the cheapest product.
- A family of four may need a large general waste bin.
- Some families of four can produce as little as half a black bag per week, if they reduce waste and recycle as much as possible.
- Some boroughs seem to be more successful at recycling than others e.g. the box system in Balham (Wandsworth) is easier.
- Having a different system in each borough is really confusing.
These should not be kept on a windowsill as they decompose in light. Liners will be delivered in 2015/16 but funding for 2016/17 is under review.
7. Street Waste - Update
Merton's street bins have two compartments - for recycling and landfill. Sometimes the same colour of bin liner has been used for both sides, but the bags are opened for examination and the two streams of waste are handled separately. The waste collectors have been asked to ensure that the different coloured bin liners are used.
8. The Wheelie Bin Trial
Wheelie bins will be tried out in Lavender Fields in Mitcham. The limited nature of this trial has not stopped the controversy around the subject of wheelie bins, not helped at all by the forthcoming election and all the associated politicking. The trial will introduce a 240 litre wheelie bin for recyclate and a smaller 180 litre bin for landfill rubbish.
In boroughs using wheelie bins, they are popular, recycling rates are higher and there is less mess, as foxes can't get at the rubbish. This borough has a lot of gardens suitable for storing wheelie bins. However, not everyone has space for a wheelie bin or would be able to move a heavy wheelie bin onto the pavement, especially if it has to be taken up steps. Separate arrangements would be made for houses that were unsuitable for wheeled bins and people who cannot manage a bin would be offered assistance. Another downside is that large wheelie bins left in the street can be unsightly.
9. Style Junkies
This is the competition for students from Wimbledon School of Art and schools around the borough to design high end clothing using waste materials and is part of Merton Mega Recycle. It has taken place over the last year and entries must be in by 20th May. A range of prizes will be awarded and people will be invited to vote on their favourite on the website HERE
10. Healthy Eating
The government is providing money for healthy eating initiatives. The YMCA will be going into schools and the Love Food Hate Waste campaign will be piggy backing on this programme. This initiative will take into account different cultural tastes.
11. Repair your electricals at the Restyling Bus
The Vine Project finds new homes for unwanted furniture and kitchen appliances. On 18th April, they will launch an enviro-bus at Wimbledon Piazza. You can bring along your small electrical items and get them repaired on the Restyling Bus. The Mega Recycle and Sustainable Merton will be helping with this initiative.
12. A Plastic Bottle Greenhouse
Safia in St Helier is planning to build a greenhouse from 1500 plastic bottles. So she is asking people to save lots of 2 litre clear round bottles for her. This was advertised on the local social network group - Streetlife. (Find out more HERE - I think you need to register with the website to see this page). So let's see how many bottles we can get together to send to Safia.
Films, meetings and events
13. Green Drinks starts again!
Abby is re-starting the popular Green Drinks event. The first one will be from 8pm on Wed 18th March at the Hand & Racquet. In future months, Green Drinks will be on the second Wednesday of the month, to avoid clashing with Friends of the Earth meetings (which are on the third Wednesdays).
14. Trashed - screening at Colliers Wood
There was an excellent turnout for the screening of Trashed in Colliers Wood on 12th Feb, with 35 people watching the film and nearly as many staying for the discussions afterwards. It was unfortunate that none of the councillors responded to the request to attend (maybe due to the forthcoming general election). However, representatives of Friends of the Earth, Sustainable Merton and Stop the Incinerator Campaign made interesting contributions to the lively debate. There was interest in holding further showings of Trashed in Merton - so watch out for more about this.
15. General Election Hustings
Mitcham & Morden - sitting MP is Siobhan McDonagh. (The first hustings was on 9th March.)
Wimbledon - sitting MP is Stephen Hammond
- Tues 14th April - 7.30pm at St Joseph's Church in Colliers Wood. Being organised by Colliers Wood Residents' Association. Find more details HERE
- Thurs 9th April 10.30am-12.30pm at Holy Trinity Church. Find details HERE
- Wed 15th April 7.30-9pm at the Mansel Rd Centre. Organised by Alison for the UNA. Find details of the meeting below under EVENTS. Download the poster HERE
- Tues 21st April 7.30pm - this event is being organised by Merton Churches and we are awaiting further details.
16. Update on the Green Deal - Home Improvement & Renewable Heat
The third release of funds through the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund will be available from Monday 16th March 2015 for a range of home energy saving measures provided they are recommended by a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Also, DECC is extending vouchers from the first release until Tuesday 31st March 2015 and funds for some measures, but not solid wall insulation, will still be available from the second release.
The domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was introduced in spring 2014 to encourage the installation of renewable heat sources. Regular payments are made to the owner of an eligible renewable heating system for seven years. Payments (p/kWh) are based on an estimate of the amount of energy needed to heat the property.
The eligible heating systems are biomass boilers/stoves, air/ground source heat pumps and solar panels. They must be on the Product Eligibility List and meet specified requirements. For example, biomass stoves must be designed, and installed, to use wood pellets. Log burning stoves are not eligible. Solar thermal panels are eligible but only when they are used for heating water for the home. Recently, the list of eligible biomass systems has been slightly extended and properties made up of more than one building may now apply. See HERE
Find further information HERE
or Polly and Laura can help to advise on incentives available and what measures qualify. Contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org
Gardening & Green Spaces
17. Action Day at new Dig Merton Site
The latest Dig Merton project will be launched on Thursday 12th March at Fieldgate Lane in Mitcham. Barratt Housing is sponsoring the planting of an urban orchard on waste land and their landscaper will be there to oversee things. Help is needed from 8am and throughout the day, so if you'd like to come along, find out more below under EVENTS.
Other things local
18. Fair & Square moves
Fayre and Square has moved. It's still in the Upper Mall of Centre Court but now at Unit 316 (formerly Citrus Gifts). This project supports young people into employment and is a showcase for the hand made products of local independent artisans (including Green Coffee's Alice with her spinning wheel). It is currently open Wednesday-Saturday and may soon be open 6 days a week.
19. Use your influence!
Make sure you use your influence to get change. If you are involved e.g. a governor at a school, you can persuade others to make greener choices. For example, children at Dundonald school were encouraged to get involved in watching out for garden birds. They are also writing to Cllr Andrew Judge to ask that swift boxes are included in a new building.
20. Pink Knitting
In the last year or so, 7 miles of pink knitting were stretched between the UK's nuclear arm manufacturing facilities and more recently around the MoD. The knitting is now being broken up and turned into blankets for refugees - the next session is 12th March. Find more details under EVENTS below.
It was suggested that a length of the knitting should be kept for display in the Green Box in Wimbledon Library (if this comes about.) Displaying art in public places was one of the proposals of Future Wimbledon. It would make a great story and continue to draw attention to the issue of nuclear arms. After all, every bit of knitting represents the work of an individual and their commitment to the cause. Each blanket will have a label saying this.
This group helps people to get the most out of health and social care services, by listening to service users and feeding this information back to those who provide the services (namely Merton Council, The Public Team within the Council, Merton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England). Healthwatch Merton also operates an Information Service to help people access services in the best way.
Bec Yusef of MVSC helps to co-ordinate the Public Heath Health Champion project. The project aims to encourage people to e.g. drink less alcohol and exercise more, so that they can live healthier lives. As part of this project LiveWell provides a 12 week course for individuals to reach personal goals to improve their lifestyles. To find out more and to get involved with Healthwatch, contact email@example.com. You can find out more at HERE
22. Merton Voluntary Services Council (MVSC)
MVSC supports the voluntary, community and faith sectors in Merton. They provide practical support, publicity for events, training and workshops, help in finding volunteers, fund management and much more. Register your group with MVSC or sign up to receive Merton Connected the weekly news bulletin HERE. If you would like to promote your activates please contact Sophie at Sophie@mvsc.co.uk
INVOLVE is a network which meets around once a quarter to discuss current issues affecting the local voluntary sector. Their next meeting is taking place at Vestry Hall on Wednesday 22nd April. They normally have around 50 people attending so it’s a great place to network with other groups and to talk about your activities. You can book the April INVOLVE meeting HERE or find out more HERE.
MVSC has a Development Team which can help you find funding and a Volunteer Centre if you need more volunteers. To find out about the full range of services offered by MVSC, look at the website HERE.
Sat 21st March 10.30am-2pm
The Big Dig
Phipps Bridge Community Garden and lots of other locations
The Big Dig Day is all about getting people involved in their local community gardens. Events will be happening across the UK and we are hosting our own Big Dig at the Phipps Bridge Community Garden. Everyone is welcome to come along to help plant potatoes and other crops, weed, prepare the ground etc. Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun 22nd March from 10am
Myrna Close - workday
Meet at the bridge in the middle of the Reserve which is between Myrna Close and Victoria Road at 10am (Morning only). Transport: Bus 470, 200, 152. Tube Colliers Wood. Task Leader Fiona Sydney email@example.com
Thurs 9th April 10.30am -12.30pm
HUSTINGS: Wimbledon constituency
Holy Trinity Church, Wimbledon Broadway
Come along and hear the candidates for the Wimbledon parliamentary seat. Ask them questions and find out their policies on things that matter to you. Organised by the Centre for Independent Living, Age UK, Merton Seniors Forum and Mencap. For more information, see the poster HERE
Sat 11th April (& for next 5 Sats) 10.30am-12.30pm,
Food Growing Course
Carshalton Community Allotment (Access between 33-35 Colston Avenue) SM5 2PW
Find out everything you need to know to confidently grow your own fruit and veg. including
preparing your growing area, planning what to grow, taking care of your plants, harvesting and storing produce. This course is AQA level 1 certified, and certificates can be provided for an additional fee. Cost is £75. Will be repeated from Sat 19th Sept. Find out more HERE
Sun 12th April 11am to 3pm
Wandle Trust Cleanup Sunday
Trewint Street, Earlsfield
We were only here in December but rubbish has returned, including a couple of motorbikes we need to grapple out! Please arrive in time for our Health and Safety briefing at 11 am. We'll then get our waders on. Break at about 1 pm for tea, coffee and refreshments provided by us. It is dirty work, so we recommend you wear old clothes and sturdy footwear such as walking boots or wellies. Find out more HERE
Tues 14th April 7.30pm
HUSTINGS: Mitcham & Morden consituency
St Joseph's Church Hall, Colliers Wood
Colliers Wood Residents Association is organising a General Election hustings. It will be a chance for local residents to hear from the candidates standing for the Mitcham & Morden constituency ahead of the general election in May. See the information HERE
15th April 7.30 - 9pm
HUSTINGS: The UK: a Global Force for Good?
The Mansel Centre, Mansel Road, Wimbledon SW19 4AA
Is this country a Global Force for Good? What are we doing about Climate Change? Fair Trade? Reducing Poverty and Empowering the Marginalised? Protecting the vulnerable and supporting good governance? Abolishing nuclear weapons and promoting common security? How well are we justifying our position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council? The Merton Branch of the UN Association and WDC/CND welcome your questions on these and related issues. Download the poster HERE
Bring along your small electrical goods for repair. Organised by the Vine Project with help from Merton Mega Recycle and Sustainable Merton.
Tues 21st April 7.30pm
HUSTINGS: Wimbledon constituency
We are awaiting more details on this one.
Sat 30th May
Morden Hall Park
An exciting day of events that will engage people, especially children, in the natural world. Current plans include a bat walk, moth trapping (display then release), small mammal trapping, a bird walk and lots of activities for children. Organised by Morden Hall Park Nature Club with Surrey Wildlife Trust.
Fête of the Earth
St Mark’s Church Hall
Donations are needed. It is not too soon to start sowing seeds, splitting plants and sorting books and bric-à-brac for this great event. This is the big annual fund-raiser and social event for WDC-CND. If you'd like to help in some way, please get in touch with Joanna at firstname.lastname@example.org
13th June 10am - 12.30pm
Wimbledon Community Conference
If you are with a community group who see themselves as ‘the heart and soul of the Town Centre’ and want to take part in planning our future Town Centre, then get in touch with Leigh at email@example.com. We hope to have about 20 groups take part (£10 per table, to cover costs). The event will be open to the public and is non-partisan.
first Mondays 7.30pm
Wimbledon Beekeepers' Association
The Snuff Mill, Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD
The Wimbledon Division of the Surrey Beekeepers' Association is an organisation of Beekeepers, who operate in the London Borough of Merton and its surrounding areas. Each year, they organise beginners’ courses and a variety of educational and social events for members.
every Wednesday morning 10am - early afternoon
Phipp’s Bridge Community Allotment
Join Gillian and her friendly group to grow fruit and vegetables. Disused land has been turned into a productive garden through people working together. You are welcome to join in, regardless of your gardening expertise - and you'll have the opportunity to take home some lovely fresh produce. If you would like to come and have a look or get involved, then please contact Gillian at firstname.lastname@example.org Find out more HERE
every Wednesday at 10.30 am
Merton Green Parents
Coffee in the Wood, 99 High Street, Colliers Wood
How do you balance the demands of being a parent and leading a more sustainable life? It can sometimes be difficult. Merton Green Parents provides a place to swap sustainable parenting tips and meet other like-minded parents. To join the group and for information about meet up times, visit the Merton Green Parents Facebook page or follow them on twitter @MGreenParents.
Coffee in the Wood has cakes from local bakers, nice coffee and sometimes live music! It is also a Recycling Point for baby wipes and baby food packets.
second Wednesdays from 8pm
At the Hand & Racquet, but this may change
The perfect social event for those interested in sustainability issues and wanting to meet other like-minded people is back!
third Wednesdays 8 - 10pm
Merton Friends of the Earth - Monthly Meet Up
William Morris House, 267 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SD
All are welcome at this new group to discuss issues including climate change. You'll hear more about the ongoing local Bee Campaign and how you can help with general maintenance in Wandle Park. Enquiries: email@example.com
first Thursday of the month at 8.00pm
Merton Cycling Campaign meeting
All Saints Centre, All Saints Road, SW19 1BX
Meet other cyclists, find out about rides and other events and the latest on campaigns. Please contact Charles, Borough Coordinator Merton Cycling Campaign tel. 8949 0708 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
third Thursdays from 7pm
Morden Hall Park Nature Group
Snuff Mill Education Centre, Morden Hall Park
Find out more about the animals, vegetables and minerals found in Morden Hall Park. Or else share your knowledge with other like-minded people? The meeting is open to anyone interested in the work of the Nature Group. Find out more HERE or email NatureGroupMHP@gmail.com
every Friday 10-12am
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church Hall, in Colliers Wood
Join Keith, Nick, Peter and friends for some gardening. Also workshops on cookery and healthy living. For more information, contact email@example.com or call Keith at 07982 721 496
second Fridays from 9.30 - 11am
John Innes Gardening Group
JI Gardening Group is currently meeting every second Friday. Meet up by the mulberry tree. Bring secateurs and a trowel. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
every Saturday, 9am-1pm
Wimbledon Farmers’ Market
Wimbledon Park Primary School, Havana Road, SW19 8EJ
A chance to get your groceries direct from local farmers. Find out more HERE
second Saturdays 10am - 2pm
The Windmill Market
St Mark's Church, behind Wimbledon Library SW19 7ND
The local market in the centre of Wimbledon. A range of food and crafts from local businesses and artisans. Now free entry. To find out more or to book a food or craft stall, please contact email@example.com
Friends of Ravensbury Park - Workday
meet at the bridge over the Wandle in the middle of the park at 10am
Help is needed to give your local park a general cleanup. Tools and refreshments provided. Sessions usually last about 3 hours, but please just come for as long as you like. For more information, call Jane tel. 07773 406 105.
Friends of the Canons - Workday
The Canons Recreation Ground (meet at the pond) at 10am
Come along and help maintain this beautiful area. Including clearing trees and beds of invasive species and surveying important parts of the site. Tools and refreshments provided. Please wear stout shoes and bring gardening gloves. Sessions usually last about 3 hours, but please just come for as long as you like. For more information, contact John Davis: 020 8640 4578 / 07739 513948.
Fish Pond Wood & Beverley Meads - Workday
meet in Beverley Meads car park, Barham Rd at 9.30am
Maintenance work. Organised by the London Wildlife Trust Merton Group. For more info, contact Steve Parish 07949 400298 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Glyn Williams 0777 5773400 email@example.com