Green Coffee                     dec. 2013
Happy New Year to everyone!

We'll be having our first Green Coffee of 2104 on Tues 7th Jan at 9.30-11am at the Gooseberry Bush, 115 Kingston Rd   SW19 1LT. So please come along if you can. If not, the one after will be on for Tues 4th Feb, same place, same time.

On Tuesday 7th, we'll be taking a little time to discuss Green Coffee - its objectives, organisation etc. So please make your input next Tues or send in your comments. 

Below are some campaigns etc. you may be interested in - then there is a summary of all the topics discussed at Dec Green Coffee
ONLINE - campaigns & information

Seed swops and heritage varieties
Regulations that would stop seed swops and gardeners growing heritage varieties of vegetables are being proposed once more at the EU. If you'd like to stop this happening, then send an email to the EU Seed Raporteurs - draft email is HERE and people are HERE. Find more information HERE

How green is your Pension? 
If you'd like your pension to be invested in sustainable technologies, then ask your pension fund  HERE. Pension funds are not used to being contacted by pension-holders or being held to account for their investment decisions, so these requests are making quite an impact.

Reducing Waste for Christmas
Operation Noah has some helpful information about how to reduce waste at Christmas – see HERE 


What's On?

6.1 to 26.1
Recycle Ch'mas Trees

23.1  7.30pm
Debate: Trident?

Mansel Rd Centre

Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

December Green Coffee - what happened?
YMCA to look at new plans
The YMCA has withdrawn the proposal to build a high rise block as part of its re-development. Following lots of objections, the YMCA will look at other options.

Green Coffee member Leigh (of Wimbledon East Hillside Residents Association) has set out what to look out for in any YMCA development. This well-considered document provides a useful checklist for sustainability and looks at the context of the development. Find this document HERE.
Mini Holland meeting
The Mayor of London wants more people to choose to cycle, especially for short journeys. So boroughs have been asked to put forward proposals that would result in a big increase in cycling.
Merton’s proposals to transform the cycling environment in Wimbledon town centre have got through to the second round and the final proposal is being submitted in December. In February, the (up to four) winning boroughs will be announced and will share £100m in funding. There hasn’t been much time to put this all together so many of the details have not been worked through, but it does have cross-party support.
Merton’s proposal is to pedestrianise The Broadway along the one-way section (outside of Next to the corner where Woolworths used to be) except that:
  • Buses will continue to travel eastwards along The Broadway, as they currently do
  • Cyclists can travel in both directions along The Broadway
  • Traffic exiting Queens Rd onto The Broadway will have to turn right
Hartfield Rd will become two-way for all traffic as well as having a bus lane for westbound buses. It will have to be widened in parts. Local schemes to hire cycles and electric bikes will be included as well as secure bike parking.  
At the Wimbledon meeting, the council was encouraged to link these proposals with measures to improve the cycling environment in roads feeding into Wimbledon town centre and to reduce any potential conflict between cyclists and pedestrians. 
The slides from the Wimbledon presentation can be found HERE   There are also new plans to partly pedestrianise Morden and Raynes Park town centres, in addition to existing plans for Mitcham. The final document submitted to The Mayor of London on Dec 13th can be found HERE.
Green Coffee member instals new boiler and smart meter !
Margaret was unable to attend the meeting as a new condensing boiler and smart meter were being installed in her home, after being encouraged to do so at Green Coffee.
Planting Fruit Trees in Herbert Rd
These trees will be planted in memory of Belinda Thomas. Juliet, Lesley and Joyce did a survey of residents in Herbert Rd and found that most were in favour of planting some fruit trees on The Green, with only 2 against the idea. The next step will be to check it out with the council.
Green Drinks
Green Drinks was restarted by Helen over a year ago and has been a great success, with over 20 people on the mailing list and regular attendance of about 8 people. Unfortunately Helen can not continue running Green Drinks and Sustainable Merton is looking for someone to replace her. 
Annika will put an article about Green Drinks and a request for organisers in the next Sustainable Merton newsletter. 
Susan has kindly offered to help run Green Drinks, but can’t commit to being there every month. So if one or two more people could share running Green Drinks, then it can continue.  If you are interested in attending or running Green Drinks, please e-mail   Everyone is welcome to the next (and possibly the last) Green Drinks on Wed 18th Dec – find details below under EVENTS.
Green Coffee - what next?
It is now 3 years since Green Coffee began. At January Green Coffee, we shall discuss how Green Coffee operates and what we want to see Green Coffee do. So please put forward any comments at January Green Coffee – or if you can’t make it, send your comments to
Recycling at The Polka
Coffee packaging and Tassimo pods were taken to the Polka following Nov Green Coffee. More people need to be aware of where the bins are and what to put into them - this will take time. Perhaps we can find out more at The Challenge Network event on Thurs 12th. It was suggested that information about coffee packaging recycling could be sent out with tickets.

POST MEETING NOTE: The TerraCycle website says The Polka Theatre collects all waste coffee packaging. Also it's a drop off location for any brand of baby wipes packaging, any brand of biscuit wrappers and Tassimo TDISCS (the collection box is cardboard so please put any TDISCS in a carrier bag so the box doesn't get wet)

Chick & Pea
Fia talked about how she came to set up Chick & Pea. In Germany, she came across Reformhaus shops which are nationwide and sell unbranded, unpackaged dried goods – rice, lentils, fruit, flour, couscous, pulse. Chick & Pea sells a similar range, but on a small scale. The aim is to reduce the amount of food packaging and introduce people to such excellent dried foods as jasmine rice and green lentils. Much of the food is sourced from Infinity Foods and is generally (but not always) Fairtrade and Soil Association certified.
You can buy your dried food and order green household products on Fridays 10-12.30 at The Gooseberry Bush up until Christmas. Chick & Pea is also at Merton Abbey Mills market on Saturdays and Sundays. If you would like to find out more or to order something, please contact Fia at
Recycling plant pots and trays
Plant pots and trays should not be put into Merton’s recycling boxes. However, they are collected at Wyevale Garden Centre in Lower Morden Lane and sent for recycling.
Green Energy
There have now been over 100,000 assessments done under the Green Deal and around 1000 have chosen to enter Green Deal contracts. People often install the measures advised under the Green Deal assessment, but find their own funding.  So although the numbers of people entering a Green Deal contract are low, the impact of the Green Deal has been much wider. Find all the figures in the Nov 2013 House of Commons report on the Green Deal HERE
Solar Britain – it’s happening
There was a reception in the House of Commons to celebrate the UK solar industry. Speakers from parliament, industry and the NGO community, includes Jonathon Porritt and Juliet Davenport of Good Energy.   Find more information HERE
The Chelsea Fringe - 2014
This will be from 17th May to 8th June in 2014. It’s hoped that there will be a few entries from Merton this year. If you have an idea for a garden installation for next summer, Curt is happy to talk this through with you – email - or contact the Chelsea Fringe at  Registration will open in the new year.
Joanna will contact Ben from the Wimbledon Guild to see if he would like to submit an article about garden sharing to the John Innes newsletter. Morden Baptist Church is also encouraging people to make unused gardens available for others to grow things in.
Wimbledon Foodbank
There has been a big increase in demand for food parcels from the Wimbledon Foodbank. However, the Wimbledon foodbank appears to get referrals from a wide geographic area. We’ll try to get more information about use of the Wimbledon Foodbank for next Green Coffee.
Monday 6th January – Sunday 26 January 2014
Christmas Tree Collections
Merton Council will be collecting real trees for composting during the above dates. They ask that you please remove all decorations and place your tree at the front of your property from 6am, where it is clearly visible from the road (but not on the pavement). If your tree has not been collected by the 27th January, please call 020 8272 4902.

Thurs 23rd Jan 7.30pm
Does Britain need to renew Trident? 
The Mansel Road Centre, Trinity UR Church, Mansel Road  SW19 4AA
Join Wimbledon CND for a lively debate between Stephen Hammond MP and Dr Rebecca Johnson,
an expert on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Come prepared with questions for both sides of the argument!
All are welcome.


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 good 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
Over the last year, Helen has organised Green Drinks and we've had some great meet ups in that time. Helen can no longer do this but it would be a shame if Green Drinks were not to carry on. So Sustainable Merton is looking for people to help with the organisation. 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 help keep it going, 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 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 

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