May Green Coffee - what happened?
1. Award for Green Coffee member
We’re delighted to hear that Joanna was runner up for the Community Award and was ‘Highly Commended’ at the recent Merton Civic Awards. Joanna was nominated by U3A (University of the third age) students, whom she teaches the recorder. Besides her music teaching, Joanna is active in many local groups, including the John Innes Gardening Group and she campaigns for Wimbledon Disarmament Coalition/CND. One of her recent ploys has been to set up a local group to help knit a 7 mile pink scarf to join the two UK nuclear weapons facilities at Aldermaston and Burghfield to draw attention to those sites. Find out more HERE
. Green Coffee congratulates Joanna on her well-deserved award for the wonderful contribution she makes to the community.
2. Fete of the Earth
This will be on Sat 17th May. Please get in touch with Joanna at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you can help on the day or can donate plants, books, bric-a-brac or tombola prizes. And don’t forget to go along to find great value seedlings and other bargains - so put it in your diary! There’s more information under EVENTS below. Also you can download the most recent newsletter from WDC/CND HERE
3. Beware internet compost
Buying compost online is convenient if you don’t have transport, but be sure to read the small print. Joanna recently bought some peat-free compost for growing tomato plants, but had disastrous results.
4. Cycling - join the Big London Ride
Merton Cycle Campaign is getting together a local group of cyclists to cycle into central London for the Big Ride on Sat 17th May. You’ll be able to cycle through famous London locations such as Hyde Park Corner, Parliament Square, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square … and it’s traffic free. Find more information about the event and the route HERE
Merton cyclists are meeting up opposite the police station in Queen’s Rd in Wimbledon at 10am. For information, please contact Charles at email@example.com
Campaigning for better cycling provision continues - see the Times article about top cyclists writing to all councils HERE
5. The Piazza Garden & The Chelsea Fringe
Merton’s contribution to the Chelsea Fringe is a garden on The Piazza on Sunday 8th
June. Caroline is organising this and is asking people to donate a plant or two for the display. The aim is to show what people can do in their own gardens and it will also give publicity to local gardening projects. More contributions especially of plants are needed – so please contact Caroline if you’d like to donate something for the day at firstname.lastname@example.org
6. A Passivhaus for Merton?
Edyta described plans for building a low-carbon Passivhaus in Merton Park. The initial planning application was rejected on the grounds that it did not fit in with neighbouring buildings. Edyta (an architect) and her husband Dean are in discussions with the council regarding a revised application. Together, they have set up a website for the project – see HERE
. If you’re interested in looking at the original application and the objections to it, see HERE
There is only a handful of Passivhauses in London and this would be the first in Merton and so would be a great asset to the borough. Edyta added that buildings account for 43% of UK’s CO2 emissions and technology exists now to dramatically reduce this. We need to demonstrate to policy makers that attitudes have to change and there is growing support for building greener houses. If you would like to support Edyta’s and Dean’s plans or have any questions, then please ‘leave a comment’ on their blog HERE
7. Green Energy for Schools
Peter is a former governor of a Merton community school and is interested in encouraging schools to install PV panels and so benefit from the Feed in tariff and the Renewable Heat Incentive. He is Governor of a University, a member of both Project Dirt and SEEd (Sustainability and Environmental Education) and was interested in Juice from your Roof and the Merton community energy project
8. Recycling supermarket plastic
Carole has been asking the supermarkets to clarify how to recycle their packaging. Sainsbury's said that the organic fruit nets are made of corn starch and are compostable. The tag is laminated plastic and is not recyclable, whilst the metal clip is. It was suggested bags should be cut up before putting them in the compost or in the food waste bin.
Waitrose and Sainsbury's are using an excessive number of plastic bags in their home delivery. They claim that, as food is collected by a different store worker in each section, a new bag has to be used by each. Waitrose says customers would like fewer bags, but also like the convenience of carrying goods in a bag. Bags are made of 50% recycled material and drivers will collect bags for recycling. Carole reports that these same shops use a lot fewer bags in Wales where there is a charge for plastic bags.
9. New Incentives from the Green Deal
Polly and Laura were not able to attend Green Coffee as they were doing a Green Deal survey! Thank you to Laura for sending an email to update us on the latest from the Green Deal as follows:
Last week the Government announced the Green Deal Improvement Fund. In essence, this is a simplification of the Green Deal by offering straight cash rather than requiring homeowners to take out a Green Deal loan. The offers are:
- £1,000 for the installation of 2 out of a list of 12 energy saving improvements (these include new boilers and replacement of single-glazed windows)
- max of £6,000 (or 75%) of the cost of solid wall insulation
- an additional £500 for homebuyers who bought within the last 12 months and are applying for one of the above
- £100 refund on the cost of a Green Deal assessment
All improvements have to be carried out by a Green Deal authorised installer and recommended on an EPC or Green Deal report, which is not more than 2 years old. We are still awaiting the final details of the scheme, so may be able to give more information at the next meeting.
10. The Mega Recycle – household pack & help spread the word!
Many homes have now received a Mega Recycle package. This includes a form, which you can complete to join the Mega Recycle scheme and have a chance of winning £250 (or you can join online HERE
) There is also a sticker - put your house number on this and stick it onto your recycling box. The other sticker is a handy list of what to recycle and can be put onto a cupboard door.
If you’d like to help the Mega Recycle campaign, then please get in touch with Sustainable Merton at email@example.com
. They are looking for volunteers to help knock on doors and encourage people to recycle more.