Green Coffee                     nov. 2013
You are invited to the next Green coffee on Tues 3rd Dec  9.30-11am at the Gooseberry Bush, 115 Kingston Rd   SW19 1LT . The Green Coffee after will be on Tues 7th Jan - so please put these in your diary!
At Nov Green Coffee, we discussed a whole range of topics from how The Challenge Network was able to support green projects around Merton this summer, to the Wimbledon Guild's new project to help older people with their gardens. Our discussions about energy continued, with more information about how your bill breaks down, plumbers, the ECO and lots more!

On Thursday this week there will be a 'Little Holland Transport Forum' hosted by Wimbledon Civic Forum - see HERE   Merton Council is making some exciting proposals to make the centre of Wimbledon more cycle friendly, so why not go along, find out what's been suggested and make sure your views are heard!

Below are some petitions you might be interested in, followed by a summary of what was discussed at Nov Green Coffee and a list of events around Merton.

Coffee packaging (bags, lids & sticks) will be collected at Dec Green Coffee.

Funds for Tree Planting
There is currently going to be a two year gap when tree planting will not be supported by government. If you would like to support the Woodlands Trust's campaign to get continued funding for tree planting, then sign the petition HERE 

Eradicating Ecocide
This is the campaign by international barrister and writer Polly Higgins to make Ecocide a crime against peace. 1 million signatures are needed to require the EU to discuss making this a law – sign HERE.
Safer cycling in Mitcham Lane
Mitcham Lane is an important route connecting Merton with Streatham. If you want to ask Wandsworth Council to provide a cycle track then sign the petition HERE  
20's Plenty for Wandsworth
Would you want Wandsworth Council to set a default speed of 20mph across the borough? If you do, then sign up  HERE

More time to cross the Road
Living Streets is calling for 3 more seconds for people crossing at signalled crossings. If you want to support this, then sign HERE

Top Tip - online security
When setting a password, use a space as it’s a lot harder to hack.

What's On?

27.11  10-4
Christmas Fair
8 Clement Rd  SW19

28.11  from 8pm
Forum: Little Holland
Mansel Rd

28.11 6 - 8.30pm
Grow more food

30.11  2-4pm
Christmas Fair
Holy Cross Church  KT3

30.11  10-4
Christmas Fair
Whatley Ave  SW20

1.12  - 18.12
Exhib: Xmas Trees
Morden Hall Pk  SM4

7.12  9am - 7pm
Christmas Market
Mitcham  CR4

Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

November Green Coffee - what happened?

Recycle your Coffee Packaging
At Green Coffee, we collected a large bagful of coffee packaging and two bags of Tassimo coffee pods – and many thanks to Curt and Carole who took these to the Polka Theatre collection point. The Polka Theatre is also collecting Johnson’s Baby Wipe packaging and McVitie’s Biscuit wrappers. A press release will be issued soon by the Polka about all of this. 

Chick & Pea
Angela told us about a new venture selling unpackaged dried foods (rice, pulses, grains, beans and dried fruit) and household products. Most are Fairtrade and/or organic and are sold from sealed glass containers direct to consumer’s own containers (or re-usable brown food bags will be offered). This will be at The Gooseberry Bush every Friday, from 10am- 1pm. The objectives are to provide better quality food and less packaging. If you'd like to find out more, please contact Fia at   Fia also sells her range at a stall at Merton Abbey Mills on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Challenge Network – update
Jen is in charge of running the Challenge projects in Merton. There have been around 40 projects this year, mostly employing groups of 12 young people aged 15 and 16. Many of the projects were for gardening and they worked with organisations like The New Horizon Centre, Deen City Farm and Sustainable Merton. There was also a skill-sharing session with Merton Young Carers.

The project is likely to double in size next year and funding has been agreed for another 4-5 years. Annika reported that the 60 volunteers were able to achieve a lot at the Tamworth site at the end of Sept, constructing raised beds and putting up notice boards. Also the Challenge Network really made a difference to Monarch Parade, painting garages and tidying gardens and did a wonderful job to enable the AGM for the Merton Centre for Independent Living.
Teams of youths are from all social backgrounds. They pay a nominal fee of £30 – this encourages people to turn up - but payment is not required by those from low income families. The course has a residential element and so actually costs about £500 per volunteer. The Challenge Network is helping to deliver the government's pledge to provide volunteering opportunities for young people.
Ageing Well – Garden Clearup Taskforce
Ben is the new volunteer co-ordinator at The Wimbledon Guild where he is running the Ageing Well project. Volunteers support older people by doing things like taking their dog for a walk, sharing a cup of tea and befriending. Some have the impression that the Wimbledon Guild operates mainly in Wimbledon, however he wants to make sure that it helps older people throughout the borough.
The garden clearup project will try to do two things:

  • Offer a once-off garden clearup for older people when their garden has got a bit out of hand. Ben is recruiting volunteers willing to offer the occasional couple of hours of help with this. Find more information HERE
  • Offer garden share – match up people who want to garden and can’t, with those who have a garden and are not able to look after it.
If you are interested in either of those initiatives, please contact Ben at  You will be given training and support from the Wim Guild and criminal record (DBS) checks will be done. Jane has already volunteered for this.
Ben was formerly the volunteer co-ordinator at Deen City Farm.
Love Wimbledon – Winter Wonderland Parade
 Would Green Coffee members like to join the Winter Wonderland Parade this year? Please get in touch with Joanna at and Charles if you'd like to.
The Green Deal
With talk of scrapping green charges on energy bills and the poor uptake of finance under the Green Deal, people feel rather gloomy about the prospects for tackling climate change. The recent excellent discussion in Croydon  “The Green Deal: Can it be revived? Is it worth reviving?” chaired by Richard Davies – reflected this.
There are two parts to the Green Deal. Firstly getting an assessment and secondly using the Green Deal funding to get the work done using Green Deal installers. Although plumbers are qualified to do most GD work, registered GD installers have to comply with lots of regulation including guaranteeing the work. This helps to give people confidence but can push up prices. Thankfully, there is a downward pressure on prices from the stipulation that work will only be done if the cost is expected to be covered by smaller bills over the long term.
Energy Bills
There is a lot of mis-information. A breakdown in the so-called green charges are given in a recent
 Guardian article HERE .  

Green levies account for just 4% of an average fuel bill and a further 5% is accounted for by social policies which aim to keep down fuel bills especially for the vulnerable.  Green Levies are on average £50 and this pays for the subsidy for wind and other renewables, the emissions trading scheme, feed-in tariffs and carbon floor pricing. The £62 of Social Levies pay for installing energy saving measures in low-income homes, the Warm Home discount for pensioners, and smart meters & better billing. One option is to pay green and social levies out of general taxation and the government seems to be looking at this.
The ECO (energy companies’ obligation) was launched in Jan 2013. This was the successor to the Warm Front and CERT policies, but unfortunately there was a gap of several months. The ECO is a subsidy given by energy companies to help pay for energy efficient measures for low income and vulnerable households and for properties that are hard to treat e.g. solid wall housing. 

Besides the green and social levies, £257 of the average household fuel bill goes towards network costs. These are high because the network was not upgraded for many years and we are having to catch up now. Despite all of this, the UK has some of the lowest household energy prices in Europe.

For more information about the Green Deal or about becoming an advisor, please contact Polly Amos,  or Laura Polglase, or call 07580 347660. Laura has just qualified as a Green Deal Advisor.
Ecotricity and Good Energy are now under-cutting the brown energy companies – so it can now be cheaper to buy green electricity. With Ecotricity, the profits go to building windmills and the customer service is much better than the Big Six – see a comparison of complaints rates HERE
The Germans have been much more successful at insulating homes and installing renewable energy. It was noted that there was a day recently when half of Germany’s electricity was renewable. The aim is to become nuclear free by 2020. In contrast, British homes are leaky with a lot of single glazing. June reported that 37% of the heat in her house was being lost through the solid walls.
Remembrance Day 
If you’d like to remember those who died but show that you are against war, then one option is to wear a white poppy. 

Living Streets & 20’s Plenty
Cyclists getting killed are now getting publicity, but there is very little publicity when pedestrians are killed. Living Streets aims to remedy this. The winter edition of newsletter 'Street Life' looks at how pedestrians spend 6 times more in shops than people arriving by car and at a new campaign to ensure people have enough time to cross roads. Find the latest newsletter HERE and the petition for more time to cross the road HERE
It was reported that Merton Council has not accepted the findings of research on a 20mph limit. However, an unofficial survey of residents found that almost all were in favour of it.

POST MEETING NOTE: the council and Merton Civic Forum are holding discussions about transforming Wimbledon into a more cycle friendly place - details under EVENTS below.
Boiler Settings
You can get an app for your phone to turn your central heating off and on, through a smart meter. However, there can be long delays in getting the system set up. As discussed at last Green Coffee, boilers can be set to a lower temperature, but it should be at least 60oC due to the risk of Legionnaire’s Disease.
Smart Meters & Thames Water offers

You can order free water-saving devices for taps, showers and toilets from Thames Water - HERE 

Thames Water is informing its customers that they will be installing smart meters in all homes. This is from Aug 2014 and will be completed in 2030. There is a campaign against smart meters, due to concerns about the health and security risks from the radio waves. 

Post meeting note: the screening of a film outlining concerns over smart meters has been proposed. If you'd like to see this happen or want more information about the campaign, please get in touch with Auriel at
Carole will be visiting Perseid School (for special needs children) to talk about Abundance and to encourage the children to pick and eat fresh fruit.
Green Drinks – can you help?
Helen has organised Green Drinks over the last year, but can no longer do so. Susan has volunteered to help to organise it but can't make the commitment every month and needs others to share this with her. Please get in touch with Susan at if you’d like to help 
Plastic pen refills & non-plastic toothbrushes
It’s difficult to find refills for ball-point pens now in the shops, but these can now be bought online. Toothbrushes made of bamboo with a biodegradable head can also be bought online.
Human Wind Turbine & “Tomorrow - what's it worth?”
Juliet will be joining the giant human wind turbine on the steps of St Paul’s in central London on Wed 6th Nov. This event organised by Friends of the Earth is in support of clean energy.
Tomorrow - what's it worth?   is a service supported by Quakers, Roman Catholics and Anglicans and is open to all. The Chairman of Operation Noah will be leading discussons. This is a Wimbledon Green Churches event and will be held on 10th Nov at the Trinity UR Church in Mansel Rd. 
The Planet & Stuff
Green Coffee members want to congratulate The Polka Theatre on this fantastic stage production.
Sustainable Merton - news
Sustainable Merton has launched an online monthly newsletter. So if you are holding an event and would like it to be publicised in the SM newsletter, then please get in touch by emailing
Closure of TTW
The October Transition Town Wimbledon newsletter announced the closure of TTW. Projects such as Green Coffee, Abundance, Energy Events and the Craft Group will continue with the support of Sustainable Merton. TTW members will have the option of receiving the new SM monthly newsletter, which covers a similar range of topics to the TTW newsletter.

Gardens friendly for Hedgehogs
Wimbledon SW19 online news has highlighted ways to make your garden more friendly for hibernating hedgehogs this winter. See the article HERE
The Big London Energy Switch
If you would like to see if you can get a cheaper energy deal, then Merton Council is encouraging people to sign up to the London Energy Switch. This is the third collective switching scheme. The number of people switching last time was low and Green Coffee members noted that the offered rate was not always lower than the deals people already have. The deadline for signing up is 18th Nov. This doesn’t commit you to anything – it only means you will be included in the process and will be told what rate has been offered.
Planting Fruit Trees in Herbert Rd

This will be using the money raised in memory of Belinda Thomas. The first step will be to ask residents in Herbert Rd if they would like fruit trees to be planted on The Green. Anyone interested in helping with this should get in touch with Joyce at

Street Licences
The council is now requiring restaurants and shops to display Street Licence information about how much of the pavement they are allowed to use. So now anyone can check that the licences are being complied with and pavements are being kept reasonably clear for pedestrians, wheelchairs etc.
According to the Wimbledon & South London Press, the YMCA is planning to build a 24 storey tower as well as several tall housing blocks. This would replace the existing 8 storey tower at the YMCA. Apparently, 4 options are being considered, ranging from 11 to 32 storeys. A planning application has not been submitted yet. If anyone with architectural or planning experience can comment on the sustainable nature of the proposed development, please contact Nick Robins of the Merton Green Party at

More on Moths
Alison recommends using Aeroxon's pheromone trap, available online and from organic/environmental garden companies. This costs £5 per trap or  £2.60 if bought in larger amounts. Use one or two per room. These traps attract the male moths which then get stuck on the sticky surface.

Wed 27th Nov   10am-4pm
Wimbledon Friends of Shooting Star CHASE: Christmas Fair
8 Clement Road   SW19 7RJ

Christmas sale in aid of Shooting Star CHASE. Wide ranging gift selection, including hand-crafted handbags, beauty products, Christmas cards, cakes, toys and homemade chutneys! £5 entry fee, with festive refreshments throughout the day. Contact Jane de Lay on 01932 823117 or email
Thurs 28th Nov  from 8pm
Public Meeting: Little Holland Transport Forum
Mansel Road Community Centre, Trinity UR Church, Mansel Road   SW19 4AA10am

Public discussion about major improvement plans to cycling in Wimbledon, such as the redesigning of Wimbledon town centre to include a cycle hub based at Centre Court shopping centre. The plans are being proposed under the Mayor of London's 'mini-Holland' programme and are based on Dutch principles. Merton Council has been short-listed for a share in the £100 million funding. The council and Wimbledon Civic Forum have organised this meeting to gauge public opinion and share their thoughts on the design. This presents an opportunity for you to have your say and to help secure funding for these important improvements to the area.

28th Nov  6-8.30pm
Grow More Food in 2014
111-117 Lancaster Rd, W11 1QT
Capital Growth is running this workshop to help you bump up your harvest in 2014. Booking is essential – see HERE
Sat 30th Nov  2pm - 4pm
Holy Cross Church: Christmas Fair
Adela Avenue, New Malden   KT3 6LF
Festive fun for all, with stalls, games, refreshments… and Father Christmas! Entrance 50p.
Sat 30th Nov  10am - 4pm
Merton Adult Education: Christmas Arts & Craft Fair 
Whatley Avenue, Wimbledon Chase  SW20 9NS
An opportunity to buy unique Christmas gifts, such as art, jewellery, stationery, cakes, bags, knitted goods and greeting cards.  The café will also be serving snacks and drinks. Parking on site. If you are interested in booking a stall, visit the Merton Adult Education website (
Sun 1st Dec – Wed 18th Dec
Exhibition: Community Christmas Trees
The Stable Yard, Morden Hall Park   SM4 5JD
Get in the festive spirit and come along to Morden Hall Park this winter to see Christmas trees designed and decorated by local community groups to reflect their organisations. Visit the website for park opening times.
Sat 7th Dec   9am - 7pm
Christmas Market: Winter Warmer
Mitcham Market (near the clocktower and the Orange Café), Upper Green East, Mitcham  CR4 2PF

Get your gifts early and start that Christmassy feeling, as Mitcham Market rounds up a year of celebrations with this ‘Christmas Winter Warmer’! Enjoy a lantern parade, Christmas Carols from local schools and more...  Contact One Mitcham at or on 020 8545 3837 if you would like to take part.

**NEW**  Every Thurs at 10.30am
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. This is why Sustainable Merton has set up Merton Green Parents, a group that supports each other in their parenting and sustainable journeys. Also see the Facebook group . Not only is it a great place to swap sustainable parenting tips but it is also a great place to meet other like-minded parents.

Coffee in the Wood is a new cafe, providing cakes from local bakers, nice coffee and sometimes live music! It is also a Recycling Point for baby wipes and baby food packets.

Third Wed, from 8pm 
Green Drinks
Hand & Racquet pub, 25-27 Wimbledon Hill, SW19 7NE
Everyone is welcome at Green Drinks, now in a central Wimbledon location. If you are interested in green and other sustainability issues, then this is an opportunity to exchange ideas, find out what's happening and just have a chat with like-minded people. Find the venue here.

Second Fridays   from 9.30am onwards
John Innes Gardening Group

Bring secateurs and a trowel.  To find out where to meet up, please contact

Fridays 10am – 1pm
Chick & Pea
At The Gooseberry Bush, Kingston Rd

Buy unpackaged whole foods and home supplies. Bring along glass jars and other containers to fill up with fair trade and organic oats, grains, pulses and dried fruit. Also eco household products for refillable containers. Also at Merton Abbey Mills on Saturdays.
every Wed 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 to 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 tel. 07956 170141 

First Thursdays
Sow and Grow Local
Salt & Pepper Café, 177 Replingham Rd  SW18 5LY
Join Tim for a fun evening talking about how to plan growing fruit, salads and vegetables in your garden or on your windowsill. Seed swop and lots of tips. Get in touch with your food chain ! Cost is £6 per session. Find out more by contacting Tim tel. 07836781498 or   Download more information HERE.

Last Sundays   10.30am - 12.30pm
Free Bicycle Surgeries
Deen City Farm, 39 Windsor ave Merton Abbey   SW19 2RR
No need to book, just pop into the garden for a free checkup for your bike. For more information, contact Louisa on or tel. 8543 5300.
new mid-week time 
Rag Rug Making
Learn how to use recycled materials to make beautiful bags and rugs. To find out when the next session is, call Thelma on 020 8540 2536 or email
Fridays 10am - 12noon & 2.30-4.30 pm; Saturdays 10am-12noon
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church Hall, in Colliers Wood
Join Keith and friends for some gardening. For more information, contact
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