Green Coffee
The next Green coffee will be on Tues 5th Nov  9.30-11am at the Gooseberry Bush, 115 Kingston Rd   SW19 1LT. Everyone is welcome.

At Oct Green Coffee, we heard about the council's plans to encourage more recycling and how the Polka Theatre is now a recycling collection point for coffee packaging. Polly gave an overview of Green Deal progress and a discussion of the future of the Green Deal was highlighted.

Since meeting at Oct Green Coffee, the Wimbledon Guild has initiated a project to help older people with their gardens (see HERE), the last Windmill Market of 2013 has been held, and Sustainable Merton has launched a Green Parents group - more info below under REGULARS. We can discuss those and anything else at the next Green Coffee. 

We shall be collecting coffee packaging at the next Green Coffee - so please bring it to The Gooseberry Bush and then it will be taken to the Polka Theatre's new collection point.

What's On?

... find full info under EVENTS

Thursdays from 10.30am
Merton Green Parents
Coffee in the Wood

to 27.11
Nuclear Age Relics
Morden Hall Park

10.11 6.30pm
Lecture: how much is tomorrow worth?
Trinity UR Church, Mansel Rd

20.11 from 8pm
Green Drinks
Hand & Racquet

   Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

October Green Coffee - what happened?

1. Sutton Community Farm
The need for more funding to extend SCF’s veggie bag scheme was discussed at the last Green Coffee. A crowdfunding initiative was launched and the great news is that the target of £15,000 in funding was reached - and so the plans can go ahead!
2. Coffee Bag Recyling Point - now at the Polka Theatre
Following discussions about TerraCycling at July Green Coffee, Kim investigated setting up a collection point for coffee packaging at The Polka Theatre. She has now received the collection box and explains that the following packaging can be collected:

  • Coffee bean & ground coffee bags - all brands accepted.
  • Plastic instant coffee lids
  • Coffee refill bags
  • Single serve coffee sticks
Once a lot of packaging is collected, this is sent free of charge to TerraCycle which then rewards the Polka Theatre with points. These points can be converted into a donation to a charity, such as The Polka Theatre.
The next step is to discuss how to encourage people and local businesses (coffee shops, restaurants) to take their coffee packaging waste to the Polka collection point. So please send in your ideas!

POST MEETING NOTE: a terracycle collection point has also been set up for baby wipes and baby food packets. This is at 'Coffee in the Wood', 99 High Street in Colliers Wood. 

3. beneighbourly,com
Look out for this website – to find out what is going on in your area and publicise local events.
4. Encouraging Recycling in Merton
Jane Alexander has joined Merton Council as the Recycling Encouragement Manager on a 2 year contract. Her objective is to increase what people are putting in their recycling boxes and to raise levels of food recycling. Previously, Jane worked with Guildford Council where recycling rates are quite a lot higher.
The approach will be to award people and communities (wards, blocks of flats) for recycling more, but the details have not been worked out yet. This initiative is being funded by Eric Pickles and the DCLG.
Jane reminded us that the following items CAN be put into recycling:
   Aerosols (please ensure cans are empty)
   Aluminium foil - clean
   Cans and tins - wash and squash
   Card - tear up to fit in recycling box
   Cartons - all paper-based
   Glass - rinsed
   Lids – loose plastic and metal lids
   Plastic bottles - rinsed and flattened
   Plastic food containers tubs, pots and trays e.g. butter tubs, yoghurt pots, fruit and
          vegetable punnets, meat trays, ready meal food trays, ice cream tubs. 
          Wash and squash.
To find out what CAN'T be put in the box and what you can do with these things, see HERE.
Although all this information is on the council website and leaflets have been distributed, many people are unsure of what is supposed to go into the boxes. Jane will be looking at ways of addressing this. Another problem is that people often don’t bother washing food containers. This contaminates everything and attracts foxes. Jane was asked if lids for recycling boxes could be obtained and will look at this. You can contact Jane at
Some Green Coffee members said they would like to visit the site where the waste is sorted - and this will be investigated.
Green Coffee was sorry to hear that Rachel is leaving her post at Merton Council’s Environment & Regeneration department. Green Coffee sends their thanks for Rachel's help and support over the last couple of years.
5. The National Trust and Fairtrade tea
 A proposal has been put forward that the National Trust uses Fairtrade tea in its cafes, as opposed to Rainforest Alliance tea. If you are a National Trust member and would like to vote on this, then you can do so at the AGM on Sat 26th Oct  or online HERE
6. London Orchards Festival
London Orchards is holding an autumn festival on Sun 13
th Oct , with cider workshops, apple bobbing, best chutney competition and lots more. Find more information HERE.
7. How Much is Tomorrow Worth?
Wimbledon Green Churches is hosting this lecture by Dr Isabel Carter, chair of Operation Noah on Sun 10th Nov. This explores climate change, from a Christian perspective. Find more information about the event below under EVENTS. 
8. Fixed rate heating charges & solar panels
Under a scheme from EoN and supported by Age Concern, Janet has been paying a fixed rate for energy bills and this has now been stopped.  However, it appears that she has paid £500 too much for her energy, but this money is not going to be refunded. She has sent an email to Watchdog about this, as they will be interviewing EoN about this. Her solar panels are still waiting planning approval.
9. Wasps in St George’s Rd
There was a wasps nest in a planter on the pavement in St George’s Rd. The council sprayed the nest and put up a notice warning people to keep away as poisons had been used. It was suggested that the wasps could have been left alone – they are after all very helpful in pollinating plants and keeping down pests. On the other hand, it was suggested that the location of the nest close to a cycle path and pedestrians justified the spraying.
10. Moths
Moths can be a major problem, especially if they get into a wool carpet. However, it is expensive to get the council to deal with it (£150 + £50 for the assessment) and it means vacating the area treated. Suggestions for dealing with moths were lavender and cedarwood (limited effectiveness), vacuum-packing clothes, mothballs (these worked), or a more environmentally friendly approach would be to disturb them regularly and expose them to light.
11. Crocheting for ‘Wool against Weapons’
Alice was crocheting a panel for the scarf that will stretch from Aldermaston to Burghfield to highlight that nuclear weapons are still being made at these locations. For more information, see HERE
12. Abundance Fruit Day
Many Green Coffee members participated in Abundance Fruit Day on Sat 21st Sept. They helped with picking fruit, making jams and cakes, running stalls and generally helping on the day –  and made a huge contribution to making this event a success. Auriel sent some nice photos and press releases to the South London Press and the Wimbledon Guardian resulting in excellent articles in both. See the Wimbledon Guardian article HERE.
13. Making use of fruit and coffee grounds
It was reported that Garth Rd has been receiving huge amounts of fruit in recent weeks. Could this be diverted and used? Let's discuss any ideas.
Also lots of coffee grounds are produced. Suggestions for use are for mulching plants although putting too much might affect plants. Coffee grounds help to deter cats (they hate the grinds getting between their paws) and slugs & snails (the coffee smell makes it more difficult for vegetables to be located).
14. Green Rooves in Merton
Curt is looking for anyone wanting to have a green roof in Merton. This could be on a house or a shed – or even a wall. Curt works with sustainable architectural and gardening projects and can be contacted on
15. Looking after Street Trees
The council uses contractors to look after street trees and they have been seen watering trees in the Colliers Wood area. However, there was continued concern about the trees outside of Centre Court. Also one of the cherry trees outside of Wimbledon station has died and another looks poorly. These trees are the responsibility of South West Trains.
16. Boilers temperature  & diverting rainwater
New high efficiency condensing boilers are often set at too high a temperature to allow condensation to happen. It was suggested that condensation is best at 60o C, rather than the 90o C at which they are usually set. The outlet pipe does need to be kept clear of ice, particularly in flats as any flooding could damage other properties.
David has re-plumbed a toilet to use rainwater collected from a roof. This saves £30 a year in water costs, plus the environmental benefits of saving water.
17. Cannon Hill Common
The Friends of Cannon Hill Common help to look after this beautiful area by picking up litter and looking out for the trees. Due to council cutbacks, trees are not being looked after so well and some are suffering and dying, and some areas are becoming weedy and covered with brambles. The Friends planted a fruiting hedge last year with the help of Merton Tree Wardens and this has now been cut back a bit. Also a mulberry tree was planted to replace an older one – but unfortunately this has been vandalized. There had been plans to build an environmental centre, however after many delays this was not done.
Kath showed off a lovely bag made from orange juice cartons.
If you would like to become involved in Friends of Cannon Hill Common, please contact
18. The Green Deal
Polly has renovated her own house to make it more energy efficient and is completing her training as a Green Deal Advisor.  
Over 44,000 homes have been surveyed under the Green Deal. Many people have gone on to make some or all of the changes advised by the Green Deal Advisors, but very few people have chosen to sign up to the Green Deal financial package. This seems to be largely because the Green Deal package is complex and seen as expensive (averaging at around 7% annual interest) - people can often find cheaper loans elsewhere. To maximize the energy and financial savings the top recommended improvements should be installed in the order shown in the report because they are the most cost effective and the effect is cumulative. In Merton there were delays to getting the surveys done. Part of the reason for this is that it takes time for advisors to become qualified.

Many advisors are employed by large companies. They are supposed to make clear to the customer which advice is being given under the Green Deal (this should be independent and not favour a particular supplier) and which advice is being given as a sales pitch from the company they are working for.

Green Deal finance is a loan. There are other schemes that will give financial assistance. The ECO was launched in Jan 2013 and will run to March 2015. It is an obligation on energy companies to help pay for energy efficient measures for low income households and for properties that are hard to treat e.g. solid wall housing where it is expensive to insulate. The ECO is a full subsidy from an energy company.
If you would like to find out more about the Green Deal or becoming an advisor, please contact Polly Amos,  or Laura Polglase, or call 07580 347660.

19. The Green Deal – Can it be revived? Is it worth reviving?
 On Wed 16th Oct 6.30pm, there will be a panel discussion to address issues surrounding the “Green Deal” – the Government’s flagship scheme for improving energy efficiency in the home - as well as escalating household energy bills and the cost of environmental obligations etc. Speakers include Bob Fiddik (Team Leader: Sustainable Development & Energy, Croydon Council) and Laura Polglase (an independent Green Deal assessor), with the Chair being Richard Davies (Transition Town Wimbledon Energy Group and regional chairman of CIBSE: Home Counties SE). This will be at the Ashcroft Room, Fairfield Hall in Croydon. Everyone is welcome.

Sun 10th Nov  6.30pm
How Much is Tomorrow Worth?

Trinity United Reformed Church, Mansel Rd  SW19 4AA
A lecture and discussion.  The guest speaker is Dr Isabel Carter, Chair of Operation Noah a Christian organisation working for the complete decarbonisation of the British economy by 2030. Everyone is welcome. Find more information HERE
**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. The next Green Drinks is on 20th Nov. To find out how to get to the Hand & Racquet, see here. Find the venue here.

Second Sunday   10am - 12 noon
 Make a Difference  
This group meets up at a different Colliers Wood location once a month. The group plants, trims trees, tidies up plastic bags, does weeding - whatever is needed. For information on where to meet up, see 
Second Saturday  10am - 2pm
The Windmill Market
St Mark's Church, behind Wimbledon Library   SW19 7ND
The October market was the last one of 2013. The market will be back in Feb. 2014. To find out more, please contact 

Second Fridays   from 9.30am onwards
John Innes Gardening Group

Bring secateurs and a trowel.  To find out where to meet up, please contact
every Wed morning
Phipp’s Bridge Community Allotment

Contact the leader of the project if you would like to come and have a look or get involved - Gillian 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