Thanks to everyone who came along to April Green Coffee.There is a summary of discussion topics below. The next Green Coffee will be on Tues 6th May, 9.30-11am at the Gooseberry Bush, 115 Kingston Rd SW19 1LT. Hope you can make it to this, or else come to the one after on Tues 3rd June.
At April Green Coffee, we heard lots of interesting and useful information ranging from what to do with corks, to plans for an ultra-energy efficient Passivhaus in Merton Park. Caroline updated us on her plans to put a lovely garden on Wimbledon Piazza and we heard reports from the launch of Dig Merton and the visit to Merton's recycling centre.
Since April Green Coffee, Merton's recycling song - Mega Recycle Reggae Recycle by Mark Professor - has been launched see HERE . You should listen to this!....and pass it on
Other things to do right now
- Help make Caroline's Piazza Garden a success! Download a flyer HERE - please give it to someone ... or put it up somewhere
- Sign up to the Mega Recycle. Do it HERE
- Download the April Sustainable Merton newsletter - HERE And look out for the new SM website to be launched soon.
1. The Piazza Garden
April Green Coffee - what happened?
Caroline is going ahead with this great initiative – but there’s lots to do to make it a success! The date has been confirmed for Sunday 8th June from 10am – 4pm and on the day the garden will take over Wimbledon Piazza, just outside Morrison’s. The Piazza Garden will be a showcase for what people can do at home to grow their own fruit and veg, flowers, herbs and trees. Bird tables, bee-keeping … and anything else that can be done in a garden.
You can contribute in the following ways:
If you can help with any of those things, please contact Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org Caroline is developing a plan for the garden and so can let you know what is needed.
- Say you'll bring along a plant (or other garden item) to put in the garden
- Help with transporting things on the day
- Help with looking after the area during the day
- Put up a poster somewhere - download it HERE
- Tell everyone who might be interested!
The new Mexican restaurant on the Piazza – Wahaca – plans to have a small section of the garden.
2. The Chelsea Fringe
The Piazza Garden will be part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival. If anyone has an idea for another art and garden entry to the Chelsea Fringe (17th May to 8th June), please contact Curt at email@example.com as he is coordinating activities in this area of London. It’s a great way of raising the profile of your project!
3. Extension to The Greening Business Programme
There has been an 8 month extension to Merton Chamber of Commerce’s project to help businesses to become greener. Find out more HERE
4. Recycling News
The Merton Mega Recycle – 3 Green Coffee members have already signed up! Getting more people really helps to build momentum, so why not sign up HERE – it only takes a minute. Joanna will contact Dundonald School about holding a Mega Recycle assembly.
Charities & voluntary groups - youth centres are great at recycling projects to raise awarenes, but don’t have facilities to recycle the waste generated at sessions. Jane will explore whether anything can be done about this. Charity shops have limited space for recycling, but are now doing it due to rising landfill charges.
What happens to sorted waste? - In Merton, pavement collection from homes is of mixed recycling which gets sent to Crayford where it is sorted. However, some collection points in Merton take sorted waste. Jane will look at whether recycling at these sites is included in borough recycling rates, whether these are council collection points and what happens to the segregated waste.
What to do with…
electrical plugs? – put them in the electricals collections (Garth Rd or Savacentre)
corks – use as an eye-guard on the end of garden canes, put on the top of pots as insulation, cut up and put into composting or give to Squirrels Community Scrap Scheme
5. Visit to Crayford
Green Coffee members Adam, Curt, Joyce and Janet went on the trip to the Crayford recycling centre which sorts Merton's waste. The trip was organised by Jane and we were given a tour of the site.
When waste arrives, it is tipped into a pile and then loaded onto conveyor belts. To separate the different waste streams, there is a series of machines shaking, scanning, using magnets and blowing the waste. Manual labour is used at one point, where workers sort the plastic from the paper waste on the conveyor belt.
Around the site you can see the piles of rubbish deposited by incoming lorries and this is moved around by giant tractors with front loaders. Most sorted waste streams are baled , including plastic milk bottles, other plastic bottles and trays, plastic bags, clear plastic, paper, aluminium tins and steel tins. Glass is ground into sand. All of those can be sold off for use elsewhere.
Samples are taken from incoming waste to measure contamination i.e. things that shouldn’t be there, like food, wet paper, fabric, plastic bags. If there is too much contamination, then the waste is sent back to the council. Waste is received at this site from all over London and beyond. Many of the councils send mixed waste as Merton does, but others such as Kingston send segregated waste. Water is sprayed around the site to reduce the amount of dust. All staff are health-checked monthly and it is claimed that there are no health problems from working there.
6. Wool against Weapons & CND
On 15th March, Lush made Wimbledon Wool Against Weapons knitters very welcome at an all day session, decorating the shop with sections of the big pink scarf. Lush has now adopted Wool Against Weapons nationally - find out more HERE
Sessions to join up the lengths of knitting were held on 22nd and 29th of March and about 100 yards of Merton scarf is now complete. Further join up sessions will be held. Find out more in the latest newsletter from WDC-CND HERE
This year’s Fete of the Earth event on 17th May will be in the garden and hall at St Mark’s Church, meaning that there will be plenty of space. So if any green or humanitarian charity would like to have a stall, then please contact Joanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, Bruce Kent will be speaking on 26th April at Quaker Meeting House in Wandsworth from 1.30pm. Bruce is a veteran anti-nuclear campaigner and speaks very eloquently on the issue. Find more info under EVENTS below.
7. The Leila shop in Berlin
There has been publicity recently about this moneyless shop. To join, people donate something useful to the shop. Thereafter, they can borrow things for free. Amongst most popular things to borrow is a power drill which on average is only used for 13 minutes in its lifetime. Other popular items are boats, kitchen appliances, ice skates and toys, plus unusual items like a unicycle. There is a lot of trust involved, but it seems to work. Find out more HERE.
The group discussed whether such a model would work in Merton. There are existing networks online that do a similar thing, such as Streetbank, which encourages people to share things with their neighbours – see HERE. Also, people often ask to borrow things on Streetlife – see HERE.
8. Green Deal: Assessment & Solid Wall funding
Laura reported that she has now carried out her first Green Deal assessment. Well done Laura!
The cash back funding for solid walls has now been increased from £650 to £4000. For information about levels of cashback now available on other measures, see HERE. Solid Wall insulation can be either external or internal - neither is straightforward. If you live in a flat, you would normally do external insulation only if you could persuade your neighbours to do the same. If you go for internal insulation, you'll lose some space. For each wall insulated you lose up to 10cm if choosing sheep’s wool or less if choosing insulated plaster board, although this is less efficient. Also wall fixtures such as plug sockets and radiators have to be moved.
The Renewable Heat Incentive for homes is coming in at last. This will provide a feed-in tariff for ground source heating, biomass (both are good alternatives to oil heating) and solar thermal for heating water.
Joanna reported that installing double glazing has reduced her energy bills a lot, but condensation has become a problem. An important part of the Passivhaus design is a whole house ventilation system. But unless major works are being done, a whole house ventilation system is not usually practical. Opening a window can help, unless the air is cold and damp outside when using a dehumidifier might be better. Alternatively, there are now Single Room Heat Recovery Units which are extractor fans with heat recovery. Laura has kindly provided the following information about those:
The one I have seen demonstrated is the heatSava from Envirovent (www.envirovent.com). This is designed to be fitted through a wall like an extractor fan and can be fitted in place of or in addition to a fan. It claims to recover up to 75% of the heat from the moist air and uses this to heat fresh air from outside as it is being piped back into the room. Other companies who produce the units include www.xpelair.co.uk andwww.vent-axia.com.
One of the other advantages of these units can be cleaner air for those with asthma or other respiratory problems. And of course, you are not losing the heat from opening the windows. Most of the units are designed to run 24 hours a day and so emit a continuous low level sound. It would therefore be worth seeing and hearing one in operation before any purchase. The units retail for about £300 and will require fitting by a qualified electrician.
9. Green roofs
Curt has completed his design for Charles’s green-roofed storage unit and is currently working on a green roof in the east end. If anyone would like advice on installing a green roof, please contact Curt at email@example.com
10. Reading recommendation: The Green Message
This is an article by ex-environment minister Michael Meacher in the Resurgence & Ecologist magazine March/April 2014. It gives an excellent explanation as to why climate change is not being addressed. See HERE
11. Funding – Project Dirt & Generations Foundation
Project Dirt's 'Managing the Ask' manual gives some excellent guidance on how to attract grassroots funding from business. Find it HERE
The Generations Foundation is Merton based and supports charities locally including Phab (physically handicapped and able-bodied) and projects contributing to environmental protection and conservation. Find more information HERE
12. Passivhaus planned for Merton
We discussed the Sewell family’s plans for a Passivhaus in Merton Park. (This is an ultra-low energy house.) Below is extracted from Dean Sewell’s article in February’s Sustainable Merton newsletter:
We are in the very early stages of a planning application for the first sustainable house in South West London and we believe the first in the borough of Merton. We started this project because we feel passionately about doing something constructive to help reduce our carbon footprint. This is a really exciting prospect, and we hope one that will make a positive change not only to us, but to attitudes towards the environment/sustainability and we hope this will be seen positively within the community.
The new house, if we obtain planning approval, will be built using the PassivHaus methodology, will fully utilise renewable energy sources and will use as little as 5% of the energy required for a traditional UK house. To reduce losses, the house will be super insulated, will be airtight to stop draughts and will use heat recovery to recycle heat from exhausted air.
Find a diagram of a Passivhaus HERE illustrating the main design features and air flows that make the concept work. Also visit Dean Sewell's blog to leave comments and messages of support.
13. Wimbledon Guild plans new Community Garden
There are plans to turn some unused land into a garden to be used by Wimbledon Guild’s clients. The plot of land is in Dundonald between the tramline and the path going up to Dundonald Road. Here is the map reference from the Wimbledon Guild - https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-0.2070888,19z
The Guild hopes to get funding to clear this area of weeds and brambles and to set up a garden. But there is a lot to do and ideas are needed on things like setting up composting, how to deal with waste and how to make the garden as interesting and sustainable as possible. You can get in touch with the organiser Ben at email@example.com
14. Launch of Dig Merton
The launch event on Saturday went well. There was a good attendance at the Deburgh Rd site with representatives from Sustainable Merton, the council, the May Project – and quite a few local residents.
See a great photo of them all HERE
Volunteers planted fruit trees (2 apple, a pear, a plum and a 2 cherry) and bulbs, and put up bird boxes. Residents were keen to discuss making more of other small green spaces in the surrounding streets and options were explored.
15. Tree Sponsors sought by Teratrees
Six of the trees planted at Deburgh Rd have been made available for sponsorship on the Teratrees website – see HERE (You will have to register with the site to see the trees on the ‘Market’ tab and how much they would cost to sponsor.)
Teratrees has been working with Raynes Park High School, which has now planted 35 trees (mix of oak, crab and blackthorn) and has raised £137 of sponsorship through the Teratrees website – which gives it a small profit!
Ryan is initially focussing on building up the number of trees available for sponsorship, then will concentrate on finding potential sponsors.
16. Little Holland
As reported in the local press, Merton didn’t win the big money from the Mini-Holland initiative, but Merton's bid was described as 'exceptional' and will still receive over £10m in funding (maybe up to £20m). Some of the improvements outlined in the bid document will go ahead including the redevelopment of Morden town centre (see below).
It's also hoped to instal segregated cycle lanes, have cycle priority at busy junctions and rejuvenate existing underused alleyways to link up different parts of the borough with cycle ways. Find more info HERE
17. Consultations – Morden regeneration & Wimbledon Area Traffic Scheme
Following the More Morden consultation, the council has now adopted a plan to regenerate the Morden town centre. You can see the plan for Morden town centre HERE.
The council is now consulting on plans to slow down the traffic on The Ridgway, put in a dedicated cycle path along Southside and to reduce the traffic through the Belvederes. You can take part in the consultation HERE The deadline for submissions is 11th April 2014.
18. Clean-up news
Love Clean Streets App – if you have a smart phone, then this app lets you take a photo of a littered area and send it through to the council. Once the mess is cleaned up, they'll send a photo back to you. You can download this free app HERE
Gum and butt bins – the council has installed nearly 200 bins for gum and cigarette butts on railings and lamp-posts across Merton.
Big Merton Spring Clean – volunteers will be out litter picking at one of the 10 locations this weekend Sat 5th and Sun 6th April. This is organised by the council and Merton Matters, the community action group.
Misuse of bins – in Dundonald Park, people often put general waste in the recycling bin. One solution is to remove the bins – then people take their rubbish home.
Also businesses are putting waste beside bins. If people find this, they should report it to the council using the Street Scene Enquiry Form HERE (on page 2 of the form, you have to select ‘more’ to find the ‘street cleansing’ option). Or call 020 8274 4902. If you have any questions about what to do, then email Jane at Jane.Alexander@merton.gov.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org
Smart Bins - these have been installed in some parks. A solar panel provides energy to compress waste and send a signal when they need emptied. POST-MEETING NOTE: four new smart bins have been installed at
Rookwood Avenue, The Chase, Tramway Path and Northborough Road - see HERE
19. Nominate a Volunteer or Business
If you know someone making a big contribution to the community, then why not enter them for the Merton Volunteer Awards - see HERE. The awards are organised by the Merton Partnership.
Merton Business Awards for 2014 are open – and has a ‘Going Green’ category. So if you know of a business that ‘makes a positive contribution to protecting or improving the environment’, then why not tell them to apply HERE. It’s all good PR!
1st March - 18th May
Frid 18th April (Good Friday) at 10am
Collywood Arts Festival
Fantastic range of events includes cookery lessons and nature classes, as well as music, poetry, storytelling, dancing classes and art exhibitions and workshops. Find the programme and book HERE
Wandle Valley Forum - Spring Walk
St Mary’s Church, Church Road, Wallington SM6 7NJ
Enjoy a 2-3 mile walk from Beddington Park to Mitcham Common with the WVF. You will be taking the path along the site of the future Wandle Valley Regional Park, which will take around 45 mins (and could be muddy!). Refreshments available at Mitcham Golf Club - £2 for tea/coffee and cake. Return to St Mary's Church or public transport from Mitcham Junction. Please call 07944 833605 for more information and to book your place.
Sat 26th April 1.30 – 4pm
Bruce Kent - No Faith in Trident
Quaker Meeting House, 59 Wandsworth High Street SW18 2PT
Inspirational speaker Bruce Kent will be arguing that at the time of public service cuts, spending £100bn on replacing Trident is immoral. Everyone is welcome.
Thurs 1st May from 7.30pm
EU Election Hustings
St Mary's Church, Putney
On 22nd May, we'll be electing 8 London MEPs to represent us in Brussels. So why not come along and ask some questions of the candidates. The Putney Society has invited along a representative from each of the main parties - Conservative, Greens, Labour, Lib Dems and UKIP. Find more info HERE
Sat 10th May from 9am
Car Boot Sale
St Mary’s Church field, Wimbledon Village SW19 7BP
Why not have a clear out, put it in the car and sell it! This is the annual fund raiser for Christian Aid. If you are selling, you’ll have to be in place before 8am. Entry before 9am is £2 and after 9am is 50p. Expect an amazing range of household goods, books, CDs, clothes, jewellery at a bargain price. For more information, contact Juliet at email@example.com
Sat 10th & Sun 11th May
Sutton Community Farm, 40a Telegraph Track, Wallington, SM6 0SH
Find out how knowledge of the natural world can be used to design ways of providing food, shelter, energy and community without costing the earth. This is the first training session this year by permaculture experts Liz Darley and Ruth Wong of Grow South. The cost is
£110 full price, or £60 concessions. To book, see HERE Find out how to get there HERE. The dates of future training courses are:
May 31/June 1 – Park Wall Community Garden, Kingston, book HERE
July 12/13 – Sutton Community Farm, book HERE
September 20/21 - Sutton Community Farm, book HERE
Sat 17th May 11am-2pm
Fête of the Earth
St Mark's Church hall & garden
Bric-à-brac, books ... and lots and lots of plants. Donations are needed - sow seeds now for selling on the day. 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
Sat 17th May 10.30am-12.30pm
Plant Sale - John Innes
5a Sheridan Rd, Merton Park
Help is needed for this annual event to raise money for the John Innes Society. There are various ways to help - donate plants (labelled donations can be delivered to 5a Sheridan Road or 21 Poplar Road in the week before the sale), help with setting up on Friday 16th afternoon, selling and clearing up. Please contact Ann Redfearn (email@example.com or tel. 8286 9983) to let her know what you can do. Or else come along on the day and buy plants, homemade cakes, refreshments and meet your neighbours.
Sun 8th June 10am-4pm
The Piazza Garden
Wimbledon Piazza (just outside of Morrisons)
A lovely garden is planned for the Piazza and will be Wimbledon's first contribution to the Chelsea Fringe Festival - see HERE
. To make this a success, a joint effort is needed and here's how you can help:
Contribute a plant or something else from your garden ... or help look after the garden on the day or help with transport... or put up a poster (see HERE
) or tell others about it. If you can do any of those, then please contact Caroline on firstname.lastname@example.org
ASAP so that she can coordinate things.
swap sustainable parenting tips and meet other like-minded parents.
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
Also see the Facebook group
they can't commit to being there every month, so
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.
Sustainable Merton is looking for people to help restart Green Drinks. Two people have already offered to help but
one or two more people are needed. Green Drinks is a great opportunity for people to get together for a purely social meeting. If you'd like to get involved, then please contact email@example.com
Second Fridays from 9.30am onwards
John Innes Gardening Group
JI Gardening Group is currently meeting every second Friday. To find out where to meet up, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Bring secateurs and a trowel.
Chick & Pea
Merton Abbey Mills
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.
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 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 tel. 07956 170141
Second Saturday 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
Fridays 2.30-4.30 pm
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church Hall, in Colliers Wood
Join Nick, Peter and friends for some gardening. For more information, 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