Green Coffee                    March 2014
The next Green Coffee is on Tues 1st April, 9.30-11am at the Gooseberry Bush, 115 Kingston Rd   SW19 1LT. You are very welcome to come along to this. If not, the one after is planned for Tues 6th May - so please put those in your diary. 
At March Green Coffee, we learnt about the exciting Teratree initiative enabling businesses to invest in tree planting in Merton and beyond. We also heard about plans to turn Wimbledon Piazza into a garden for a day, Heather's range of re-usable menstrual products and updates on ongoing projects.
Since last Green Coffee, Jane has organised a trip to the materials recovery facility at Crayford in Kent on March 26th. This is a rare opportunity to see what happens to the contents of your recycling box. If you’d like to go, then please contact ASAP as places are limited - see item 5 below.
Download newsletters from:
Sustainable Merton - HERE
WDC-CND              - HERE

Latest News
Mini-Holland?  Merton didn't win the big money for its scheme for making Wimbledon and the rest of Merton more bike and pedestrian friendly. But we are still going to receive some of the money and the council says it will go ahead with parts of the plan.

Job opportunity - Recycling Promoter  Help Merton launch the Mega Recycle. This involves speaking to people on doorsteps about recycling - what to recycle, why etc. Find out more HERE


Solar Thermal for homes

YMCA - new plans

District Heating in Merton?

Launch of Merton’s Mega Recycle

Trip to Crayford recycling centre


Recycling Coffee Bags

Low Energy Light Bulb - odours & dimmers

The Big Pink Join Up! ... and Lush

10 Dig Merton & Herbert Rd fruit trees

11 A Garden in The Piazza?

12 Reuse & recycle  - video tape, plastic bags, fruit nets, expanded polystyrene beads & a large bag of rice

13 Re-usable menstrual products

14 Ethical Products - Izzy Lane, Farmaround & Ecos Paints

What's On?

1.3 to 18.5
Collywood Festival

20.3   7.15pm
Morden Comm Forum
Civic Centre  SM4 5DX

20.3  7pm
Nature Group

Morden Hall Park

22.3  11am-2pm
Lavender Ave garden

Lavender Ave  CR4 3HS

22.3 & 29.3  2-6pm
Big Pink Join Up
43 Wilton Grove

29.3  2pm
Dig Merton launch

Deburgh Rd SW19 1DR

5.4  8pm
Prophets of our Age

St Mary's Church

5.4 & 6.4
Merton Spring Clean

various locations

Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

March Green Coffee   - what happened?

1 Solar Thermal for homes
David reports that you can now apply to Good Energy for solar thermal panels. The panels would go on your roof and will provide hot water. See HERE
The renewable heat incentive (RHI) for homes is due to be launched in spring 2014 – see HERE  Under this, people will be paid for generating and using renewable heating. The RHI for businesses and the public sector was launched in Nov 2011.
2 YMCA – new plans
There are no longer plans to build a tower and the YMCA will consult widely when it develops its new plans.
3 District Heating in Merton?
Merton Council has been awarded £20,000 for a heat network to supply houses and shops in and around Morden town centre. Merton is one of 26 councils receiving a grant to establish a district heating project. Find out more about local plans on the WimbledonSW19 website HERE  ... and the national district heating scheme 
4 Launch of Merton’s Mega Recycle
This initiative will be officially launched on  24th March. Find the latest information and register on the website HERE.  By registering, you can win £250 for yourself (a check will be done on your recycling box), £3000 for a block of flats and £10,000 for an estate. You can also nominate a school to win £5000.
If any community groups, church groups or residents’ associations would like a talk on recycling and the Merton Mega Recycle, please get in touch with
5 Trip to Crayford recycling centre
Would you like to visit the Materials Recovery Facility dealing with Merton’s general recycling?  Jane has organised a visit on 26th March. As the site is in Crayford in Kent, the trip would take most of the day. If you would like to go, please let her know ASAP by emailing They will only allow a small group to visit, so the number of places is limited.
6 Teratrees
Ryan is from Cape Town and is interested in the environment and sustainable living. He worked as a financial trader in Amsterdam and (with business partner Olaf) is now pursuing his own idea to create a market in tree planting. By giving businesses a way of sponsoring tree planting, this initiative will give tree planters access to funding, enable businesses to boost their environmental credentials and eventually lead to an expansion in tree planting around the world. And it's all starting in Merton!

So here is what happens.  
  • The planter buys a tree (or shrub) and is given a Teratrees voucher by the supplier. On the Teratrees website, the planter offers the newly planted tree.
  • On the Teratrees website, a sponsor buys the tree from the planter. The sponsor can then use the Teratrees logo on their website and publicise their Teratrees ratings. 
All transactions use the 'Teras' currency (20 Teras = £1). A score is given for each tree planted or owned, with extra points for indigenous and bee-friendly species.   

 Safeguards have been built into the procedure. Each tree uploaded to the website requires input of the unique voucher code and a photo of it in the ground. Teratree will do spot checks, especially if lots of trees are involved. Find more details of how it all works HERE.

Initially, Ryan is focusing on getting people on board and has linked up with the following groups:
Tree planters
Raynes Park High School (a Young Enterprise competition has been set up)
Merton Council
Sustainable Merton
Tree suppliers
Fulham Palace Garden Centre
Plants & Trees Online
Your Garden Menu
This project is being piloted in Merton and will be rolled out across London and eventually internationally.
Teratrees will operate as a business, taking a 5 % commission on all trades. If you’d like to get involved or find out more, then please see the website HERE. You can contact Ryan at
7 Recycling Coffee Bags
Joyce will ask TerraCycle to clarify what type of packaging can be included with coffee packaging. Juliet collected coffee packaging from The Gooseberry Bush and Green Coffee members and will deposit them at The Polka Theatre collection point.
  1. The Kenco sponsors says only coffee packaging can be accepted e.g. any brand coffee, eco refill packs, bean bags, jar lids and single serving sachets.
  2. The Polka Theatre coffee packaging initiative was publicised in the Wimbledon Guardian this week – see HERE
8 Low Energy Light Bulb - odour & dimmers
Joanna noted a strong clinical smell from an low energy bulb in her home. She has removed the bulb and is contacting the manufacturer for information.
Carole has replaced all the bulbs in her home with low energy ones. If bulbs flicker when dimmed, then the dimmer switch should be changed too.
9 The Big Pink Join Up!    ... and Lush
Wool against Weapons joining up sessions will be held from 2-6pm on 22nd and 29th March at 43 Wilton Grove. This will be to join together pieces of knitting into a long scarf. The aim is to stretch a scarf between the two nuclear weapons sites - Aldermaston and Burghfield. Find more information HERE.
The toiletries group Lush is helping the Wool against Weapons initiative with logistics and publicity. Also Lush is hosting a knitting day at the shop on Wimbledon Bridge on 15th March. So just come along -  and be prepared to knit!  For more information about either event, contact Joanna at  
10 Dig Merton & Herbert Rd fruit trees
Dig Merton is the council’s initiative to encourage people to use local green spaces to grow veggies, flowers and fruit. Sustainable Merton is helping with the pilot project. One of the pilot projects is the new Lavender Ave allotments and this is being launched on Sat 22nd March.

PLEASE NOTE: There has been a change in plans and the official launch of the Dig Merton project will now be on Sat 29th March at Deburgh Rd, just off Haydon's Rd. Help is needed with both projects, so please do go along. Find more details under EVENTS.
On Sunday 2nd March, three apple trees were planted on Herbert Rd Green in memory of Belinda Thomas. Local residents were invited to come and help, as well as Belinda’s family and friends. The apple trees were donated by the Belinda Thomas fund – and the fourth cherry was kindly donated by Rev Andrew Wakefield. All were local varieties. The cherry tree was planted on Tuesday evening by The Beavers from St Andrew’s Church. This initiative is part of the Dig Merton pilot project.
11 A Garden in The Piazza
Caroline put forward a great idea of setting up a garden on The Piazza in Wimbledon as a Chelsea Fringe event. The objective would be to get groups (schools, friends of, Abundance etc.) and individuals around Wimbledon/Merton to contribute something from their garden e.g. plants, beehive, a green roof. These could be put together into a garden that people can walk through. There could be some activities such as seed planting (peas, salads). Also, there could be a small notice on each exhibit giving information about the item on display and/or the contributing group. 

Plans are still in very early stages and the date is still to be fixed (but within the Chelsea Fringe period of 17 May to 8 June). If you'd like to get involved, please email Caroline on

By becoming part of The Chelsea Fringe, groups can publicise their projects and attract volunteers. The Chelsea Fringe is now an international event. For more information on The Chelsea Fringe, please contact Curt at
12 Reuse & recycle
video tape, plastic bags, fruit nets, expanded polystyrene beads & a mega bag of rice

At the last Green Coffee meeting, we discussed how video tape can be used as ties in gardens or knitted into rugs. Alice has looked into this and found warnings that this tape is coated with potentially toxic metals including chromium which can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. So it would be best to avoid using the tape for craft. 
Alice demonstrated how plastic bags can be cut into strips and crocheted into a useful string bag. If you’d like to find out more, then please contact Alice at
Fruit sold in supermarkets often comes in a net. Check the label, as some are compostable so don’t need to be binned or recycled. Corn starch and PCB (polyhydroxybutyrate) nets are compostable.
Expanded polystyrene is difficult to deal with. You could try putting the packaging on Freegle or giving it to an organisation that uses it.
Joanna offered a large bag of rice and Juliet agreed to take it to the Homeless Drop-In Centre.
13 Re-usable menstrual products
Heather told the group about the range of re-usable mentrual pads and cups that can be bought from her Luxury Moon website – see HERE. These are made by seamstresses around the UK. Every effort is made to reduce the environmental impact of materials e.g. shipping is by sea, packaging is re-usable etc. These products were shown at the EcoLocal autumn fair in Sutton and are sold world-wide.
Heather worked on the Real Nappy Network and still sells some of those. You can contact her for more information at
There is an engaging story on BBC online about a southern Indian man who developed a machine to make sanitary pads from cotton. See HERE
14 Ethical Products - Izzy Lane, Farmaround & Ecos Paints
Izzy Lane ethical knitwear is made from the wool of rare breed sheep – Wensleydale and Shetland. You can join the mailing list HERE

For fresh organic fruit, veg, groceries and 
environmentally friendly cleaning products, Christine recommends who she has used for more than ten years. 
Ecos organic paints can be ordered online HERE. Christine has used these paints throughout her home as they are odourless.
1st March - 18th May
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

Thursday 20th March 7.15pm
Morden Community Forum
Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Morden SM4 5DX

 Morden Community Forum usually meets in the spring and the autumn. If there any issues you would like to be discussed at the the meeting in March, call 020 8543 3896 or email Comments can also be left on the groups Facebook page.

Thurs 20th March at 7pm
Morden Hall Park Nature Group
7pm, Snuff Mill, Morden Hall, Morden Hall Park Road, Morden SM4 5JD

The MHP-NG are local people who get together monthly to find out more about the natural world in the park and to share their knowledge. This month, the main discussion topic will be nature surveys and will be introduced by OPAL (Open Air Laboratories network). To join the group and get further information, please send a blank email to

Sat 22nd March 11am-2pm 
Lavender Avenue Community Garden - launch
Behind Viridian Housing Development (off Mortimer Rd) Mitcham CR4 3HS
Everyone is invited to come along to help get the garden ready for the next growing season and get acquainted with this wonderful community growing space. There will also be seed planting in pots to take home.  This is taking place on The Big Dig day, a nationwide project to encourage people to garden. Also you can find out more about Dig Merton, the project to help people to garden in local green spaces.
There will be home made, home grown soup to sample, and the lovely people at The Toasted Pip will be offering a delicious free coffee for willing volunteers.

Sat 22nd & Sat 29th  March  2-6pm
The Big Pink Join Up
43 Wilton Grove

Lengths of knitting have now been done for Wool against Weapons - and they need to be joined up to form one long scarf. Help is needed for this, so please come along if you can. For more information, please contact Joanna at
Tuesday 25th March 7.15pm
Mitcham Community Forum
Vestry Hall, Cricket Green, 336-338 London Road, Mitcham CR4 3UD
Regular meetings take place in the spring and the autumn. Join the Mitcham Community Forum Facebook Page to find out the latest news and get involved in the conversation.

Sat 29th March 2pm 
Dig Merton Launch
Deburgh Rd (off Haydons Rd)  SW19 1DR
This is the launch event for Dig Merton, an exciting new community project to encourage people to grow veggies, flowers and fruit in public green spaces. This initiative is backed by Sustainable Merton, Merton Council, Circle Housing, Merton Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, the May Project and others. Everyone is welcome to come along, help to plant some apple trees and bedding plants, and find out more about how to get involved.

 Mon 31st March
Scrutiny at Merton Council - deadline for submissions
You can suggest a policy area or issue for the scrutiny committee to investigate. This is one way of holding the council and other public bodies to account. See HERE
Sat 5th April  8pm
Lent Lecture: Prophets of Our Age
Garden Hall, St Mary’s Church, Wimbledon
A talk by Mark Dowd, broadcaster and campaign director for Operation Noah – a Christian organisation which urges action to stop climate change. All are welcome.
Sat 5th & Sun 6th April 
Big Merton Spring Clean
various locations
Would you like to help clean up a street near you? Merton Action (the community action group) and the council will announce which 10 locations will be targetted for a tidy up. If you can help, please call 020 8545 3189 and leave your name, the street where you live and say you want to help.

Frid 18th April (Good Friday)  at 10am
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 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



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.
 Also see the Facebook group 

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.

Green Drinks
Sustainable Merton is looking for people to help restart Green Drinks. Two people have already offered to help but
 they can't commit to being there every month, so 
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

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  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 

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 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
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