Green Coffee
You are invited to Green Coffee on Tues 5th March at the the GOOSEBERRY BUSH, 115 Kingston Rd  SW19 1LT. We'll be meeting in the main cafe (ground floor) from 9.30-11amThis is an independent cafe selling locally-produced cakes and goodies. It's on the corner of Palmerston Rd and Kingston Rd and (according to TfL journey planner) is just 13 minutes walk from Wimbledon Station, 8 minutes from South Wimbledon tube and 6 min from the Merton Park Tram stop.  Also, parking for 6 bikes and wheelchair accessible. Find a map HERE.

The Green Coffee after that will be on April 2nd - and we shall have to decide where to go for this one. 

Thanks to everyone who came along to February Green Coffee. An especial thanks to Jules for making us so welcome at the YMCA. We had an excellent session, with lots to talk about. Also thanks to Lee for his presentation on Love Food Hate Waste - many of us signed up to become Food Champions. 

Please put 20th April in your diary.
This is the date for Green Coffee's FESTIVAL OF IDEAS. This is your opportunity to spend a bit more time discussing ideas for making Wimbledon better and greener. It follows the UPCYCLING WIMBLEDON event at St Mark's Hall in the centre of Wimbledon, showcasing ideas for making the most of what you have. You can help to make these events a success by downloading a poster HERE and pinning it up on a noticeboard. Many thanks.


Some news

More cash for cycling in London?
The GLA is voting on this on Monday. Click HERE for an extra £41m for London's cyclists. 

Bikes and Lorries in Merton
Merton as been rated one of the worst councils in London on protecting cyclists from lorries. Since London Cycling's Safer Lorries Safer Cyclists campaign started, two London boroughs have pledged improvements. C
lick HERE to ask Merton to do the same.

What needs looking at in Merton?
The scrutiny committee looks at all sorts of issues - transport, recycling, anything affecting people in Merton. If you'd like to make a suggestion before April 2nd about what they should investigate next, then find out how to do this HERE.

Main Topics             Make a Difference
            Edible Hedgerow
            Health & Wellbeing project

Find past copies of the Green Coffee Update HERE

What's On?

21.2 to 21.3   Thurs 8pm 
Climate Change & God
St Mark's Church

2.3  noon - 4pm
Bicycle Clinic
West Barnes Library

3.3  10am - noon
Cycle Ride
West Barnes Library

Windmill Market
St Mark's Church Hall

10.3   10am- 12 noon
Make a Difference 
Colliers Wood

20.3  8pm onwards
Green Drinks
Hand & Racquet

20.4  11am-2pm
Upcycling Wimbledon
St Mark's Church Hall

2 - 3.30pm
Festival of Ideas
St Mark's Church Hall

29.4  2-4pm
Make your own Bag
St Mark's Church


Main Topics at February Green Coffee

More on the GREEN DEAL
NEW CONTACT DETAILS:  If you would like to contact Sustainable Merton about the scheme to help people lower their fuel bills or to get a free home energy assessment, then please contact the SM office directly by emailing or calling 020 3417 0476 – and leave a message if the office is closed.
Sustainable Merton is looking for volunteers to help people lower their fuel bills and have a free home energy assessment. SM is also asking who would like some advice on getting a cheaper energy tariff or a free home energy assessment. For more details, see January Green Coffee Update.

Jules welcomed Green Coffee to the YMCA. The Wimbledon branch is part of SW London YMCA, the largest in Europe, providing a home for 250 young people. SWL YMCA focuses on recycling and has a target of reducing waste by 10%.  It receives food from FareShare, which passes on unwanted food from Sainsburys and other food groups. Food might be from a damaged pallet or it could be dated e.g. chocolate with ‘Olympic’ branding or may be nearing its ‘use by’ date. But all food is fit for sale (i.e. within its ‘use by’ date).
 The YMCA in Kingston is a hub for distribution of food from ‘From the Ground Up’, which is a not-for-profit organization supplying a local organic food box. It may be possible to have a similar hub in Wimbledon YMCA, if people can be found to run it. The YMCA’s ‘Sleeping Rough’ initiative highlights the problem of youth homelessness and raises funds.

Merton Cycling Campaign - bike clinic & bike ride
There was a 20’s Plenty meeting last night, with a presentation from Jeremy Leach, the co-ordinator of the London-wide campaign. This campaign brings together interested people from all the political parties – Conservatives, Labour, Liberals and Greens. The current situation in Merton is that if people request 20mph they can have it in their area with built-in enforcement – chicanes etc. The objective of the 20’s Plenty campaign is to make 20mph the default speed. This changes the mindset and makes life simpler for everyone.
To encourage cycling, there will be a free bike clinic at West Barnes Library on Sat 2nd March followed by a ride on Sun 3rd March. This event is run jointly by Merton Cycling Campaign and the Friends of West Barnes Library. Find the poster HERE. For more information, call 020 8274 5789 or email
It was suggested that a similar event could be held at The Donald Hope Library in Colliers Wood and Keith Spears will discuss this with Charles.
Merton Cycling Campaign is looking for someone to help set up a website for the group.

POST MEETING NOTE: Mike Plaskett has kindly offered to help with the website, and Charles says it looks as though a plan is forged thanks to Green Coffee.

Ecology Badge - a piece of history
Margaret proudly displayed her Ecology Party badge, from 30 years ago! (The Ecology Party became the Green Party in 1985.)
Make Your Own Shopping Bag 
 Juliet is organising a session on Mon 29th April - the fourth bag-making session. Here people can make beautiful long-lasting bags using the Mors bag template and their own fabric or else choose from a range of fabrics. Learn simple sewing techniques and share your knowledge and skills with others. Find more event details in ‘What’s On’ below.

Upcycling Wimbledon
Juliet is organising this fantastic new event on 20th April, from 11am-2pm. Upcycling is about doing something better with what you have (before putting it into the recycling box or bin). So there will be lots of stalls including the following:
  • Love Food Hate Waste will be cooking up food nearing its ‘use by date’, handing out recipe ideas and free pancakes.
  • Free cotton shopping bags and win a free compost bin.
  • Advice on making compost
  • Sew Together (see next item)
  • Tips on growing food for free in pots or on the windowsill
  • Freecycle a website which enables people to pass on any unwanted items
  • Squirrels - demonstrating their vast range of materials for arts & crafts, including offcuts and end of line items
  • Find out how to pass on unwanted furniture to people in need from The Wimbledon Guild & The Vine Project.
 If you have an UPCYCLING idea or would like to help at the event or just want to know more, please contact Juliet at
Download a poster HERE or keep up with the latest on the event HERE. If you would like a printed poster, then please contact

Sew Together
Suzanne has designed the poster for the Upcycling event, which you can download HERE.

Suzanne will be running a Sew Together stall at Upcycling Wimbledon, with hand-sewing demonstrations and advice on general repair, what you can do to rejuvenate clothes and perhaps a fabric swap or button swap. 
Belinda rescued two sewing machines from being dumped, gave them to Suzanne who mended them and sold them for £5 each.
At  the Transition Town Tooting event in November, Suzanne held a sewing workshop and made draught excluders in a disused shop. Other potential places for holding an event like this would be: the church hall at Colliers Wood, Salvation Army Hall in Kingston Rd and a pop-up shop in Wimbledon town centre.

A Festival of (Green Coffee) Ideas
This came from an idea put forward by Belinda at December Green Coffee. The event will run from 2 pm to around 3.30 pm following Upcycling Wimbledon on Sat April 20th. It will start off with everyone being invited to tell what they are doing to make Wimbledon better and greener (each will have a 2 min maximum). Then people can join workshops to brainstorm ideas for things like Making Wimbledon Look Better; walking and cycling around Wimbledon; encouraging growing, making and selling food in Wimbledon; ways to reduce energy use.
If you have an idea for a workshop topic or would like more information, contact Joyce at  

You can help make this event a success, by forwarding the poster to your networks, putting the  poster on a website or printing it out and pinning it on a noticeboard. Download a poster HERE. If you would like a printed poster, then please contact

Climate Change and the purposes of God
This Lent Course is a series of discussions every Thursday from 21st Feb to 21st March and is looking at issues like:
Why does climate change matter?
How can I better celebrate creation as God’s gift?
What is God asking of me?
What do I need to change?
What can I do now to cherish God’s earth?
The Lent Course is our local churches' response to the Ash Wednesday Declaration  - Operation Noah’s call to take urgent action to prevent climate change. This is being organized by Wimbledon Green Church members - Juliet (St Mary’s Church), Christine (Dundonald Congregational Church) and Paula (St Mark’s Church). It is open to everyone of all religions/denominations and none. Find details of events below under ‘What’s On’.
Wimbledon Foodbank
Mary reported that Wimbledon Foodbank is working well. Several of the churches support it by having their own collections of food. People are now getting used to donating. The Foodbank gives useful feedback on what sort of food they are short of. Supermarket food collections are organized separately. In December, Wimbledon Foodbank had collections outside of Waitroses in Wimbledon and Raynes Park, and Sainsburys in Wimbledon. Find more information at WimbledonFoodbank.
Sow and Grow Local - from Tim Keates
A couple of years ago, Tim cycled from John o’ Groats to Lands End by butcher’s bicycle, to celebrate British artisan food. Tim is an experienced gardener and is now giving advice on growing food in gardens, on patios and windowsills. This will be held once a month in Southfields. If you would like to go along, then please contact Tim on 07836781498 or or download information HERE   Find more details under ‘What’s On?’
Love Food Hate Waste
Lee told Green Coffee about the campaign to recruit 2500 Food Champions as part of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign. The idea is that if people are connected to their food, they start to think about everything else in a different way. 15m tonnes of food are wasted in the UK every year, 27% by food manufacturers, 23% by retailers and 49% by householders. This means that every household (of an average of 2.4 people) throws away 5 kilos of food a week. Around half of this waste could be avoided. 
Avoidable waste (the main reasons given) - didn’t use it; burnt it; past its ‘use by’ date.
Possibly avoidable waste – not eating parts e.g. potato skins; not taking opportunity to do things e.g. make stock
Unavoidable waste – fish bones.
People are encouraged to go on the Love Food Hate Waste course to learn how to reduce waste. It’s important to understand when food is safe to eat and how best to store it. Some tips:
  • store bananas separately from other fruit, as they release a chemical which speeds up ripening
  • make smoothies to use up fruit that is going over
  • bananas can be peeled and frozen, so used later
  • food lasts longer when stored in original packaging
  • Consumers need to know the difference between types of date information on packs. It is not safe to consume after the ‘Use By’ date. It is safe to consume food after the ‘Best Before’ date (although the quality might be less). ‘Sell By’ or 'Display Until’ date should be ignored, as they just provide information to the retailer.  
POST MEETING NOTE: you can also freeze chopped onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and any leftover veg.
Once trained, people can use the knowledge to save money (up to £50 per month for a family); to tell others; deliver presentations to groups; put up posters and distribute newsletters.  This programme finishes in 3 months time, but it is hoped that the legacy will be that Food Champions will continue to spread knowledge.
Supermarkets waste a lot of food and it was pointed out that some supermarkets spray food with chemicals to stop people eating discarded food, which seems unethical when some people have no food. Also, when foodbanks have collections of food at supermarkets, this entails people buying more food so it's not a way of reducing food waste. Supermarket food wastage has been reduced following their agreement of a set of principles with the Office for Fair Trading, including making food available in small pack sizes. Also, supermarkets give food to NGOs e.g. FareShare, and are now also giving non-food items e.g. TVs and computers.

Everyone should learn about food, starting with domestic science for all in schools. Love Food Hate Waste has been trying to get teachers interested to see if knowledge of food can be made part of the curriculum.

If anyone would like to suggest where another presentation from Love Food Hate Waste could be done, then please contact Lee at

POST MEETING NOTE: Belinda asked for her concerns to go on record about supporting foodbank schemes which encourage people to buy more food from supermarkets so that they can donate it, as it is replacing the custom from people now unable to afford food. Meanwhile, supermarkets continue to cause waste through their contracting practices with farmers and aggressive marketing, encouraging people to buy more than they need.
Merton Chamber of Commerce
Ray’s job at the MCC is to bring business and the community together. Many businesses support charities, generally the large national charities. People working in Merton are often from outside of the borough, so won’t know what the needs are locally and what charitable work is being done. However it seems likely that businesses could be persuaded to support local charities. Only 20 or so businesses in Merton employ more than 250 people. Even though most businesses employ fewer than 10 people and don’t have social responsibility policies, they often want to make a contribution to society and like to tell people what they are doing to support the local community.  Customers like to hear that businesses are supporting young people, the homeless or a local cause like Deen City Farm.
Some suggestions were made. Firstly that the MCC should encourage walking and cycling, as there is now lots of evidence that this benefits local shops. Secondly that the MCC should develop a ‘Merton independent’ logo for shops and cafes to display on their shopfronts.  Independent shops would benefit as more customers would support them and the chains would benefit too, as highlighting the individual character of Merton’s streets would attract customers to them too.
Ray offered to help at Green Coffee’s Festival of Ideas event on April 20th.
The Chelsea Fringe
The Chelsea Fringe is a volunteer run, not-for-profit organisation. It is asking people to submit ideas for fringe events such as a community gardening activity, garden/art installations, walks, talks, food events, open days, exhibitions and performances - as long as it's interesting and connected with gardening, gardens, plants or landscape. Find more information HERE and HERE.
Curt specializes in architectural and horticultural design. He intends to take part in the Chelsea Fringe and is looking for a venue for his display in Merton. It needs to be a secure site, as it will be a combination of horticultural design plus machinery. If you would like to speak to Curt about a possible venue in Merton or what it’s like to take part in the Chelsea Fringe, please contact Curt at
Colliers Wood – a lot is happening!
Keith is involved with Colliers Wood Residents’ Association and Making Colliers Wood Happy. To find out the exciting range of things going on, see the Feb newsletter from Making Colliers Wood Happy HERE. There are three new projects:
Make a Difference
This is on the second Sunday of each month, from 10am-12 noon. Each month a team of people meets to do whatever is needed to improve an area. This might involve planting bulbs, removing plastic bags, weeding, trimming trees. Groups can get a clean-up kit (litter pickers, plastic bags, tabards) from a London Mayor’s initiative – also called ‘Make a Difference’.
Edible Hedgerow
Keith is taking delivery of 420 hedgerow plants on March 4th from the Woodlands Trust. If you would like some of these and have somewhere you can put them – in a public place, where you have permission to plant – then contact Keith at There will be a mix of hazels, crab, blackthorn, elder, dog rose – all plants edible to wildlife and humans.
Health & Wellbeing project
The Merton Partnership involves representatives from local public bodies (the council, police, NHS Trusts etc), the community and voluntary sector and the business community. The Merton Partnership has provided a grant of over £6000 for a community food growing project in Colliers Wood. This will encourage residents in blocks of flats to grow things in communal areas. The first step will be to engage people - flyers will be distributed to invite people to help with digging and making raised beds. When people can see that something is happening, this should act as a catalyst to get more people involved. Then people will be invited to join classes in horticulture, healthy lifestyle choices and cookery.
Colliers Wood now has two community centres and is easily accessible from Wimbledon  (a no. 131 bus goes from Wimbledon Station to Colliers Wood High Street).  The wide range of things happening in Colliers Wood is an exemplar for other groups. Keith was congratulated by Green Coffee for initiating all of this.
Update on Colliers Food
This is a project to set up a co-operative food shop in Colliers Wood. There is now an active group of 6 people in the management committee and they are taking responsibility for the various tasks. They are receiving advice from the Co-operative group and are looking for an empty shop. There is now a website  and a newsletter has been developed in purple, green and white (the colours of Wimbledon and of the suffragette movement). Matthew is setting up a spreadsheet. Bags are being made and a lovely new flyer has been printed (Belinda will bring some to next Green Coffee). Colliers Food was very well received at the 'What's Going on in Colliers Wood' event last weekend, signing up 50 or so new people to the network. As a cooperative, it will be run on a one member, one vote basis.
Colliers Food will start by selling non-perishables. They already have a small buying group, which buys from Infinity Foods. There will be a catalogue of products and Colliers Food will take a small markup (10-15%) to fund the project. Beyond extending the buying activities, Colliers Food wants to build a food hub, bringing together local food shops and cafés to encourage local sourcing and working together. An example of this is StroudCo. Also, CF will look at supplying schools and hospitals. 

Colliers Food hopes to launch the co-op itself with a showing of the Co-operative film "The Rochdale Pioneers", an inspiring story of hope, determination and principles that will hopefully help people to understand what co-operatives actually are and how they work. Belinda will be investigating whether a showing at the Odeon would be possible for this formal launch. To contact Colliers Food, email  Also, you can ‘Like’ Colliers Food on Facebook and on Twitter.

What’s on
Thursdays from 21st Feb to 21st March inclusive     8pm start
Climate Change and the purposes of God
Chapter Room, St Mark’s Church  (behind Wimbledon Library)  SW19 7ND
This is a series of discussions in response to Operation Noah’s call to churches to take urgent action to prevent climate change. It is expected that the sessions will consider the following issues
Thurs 21st Feb        Why does climate change matter?
Thurs 28th Feb        How can I better celebrate creation as God’s gift?
Thurs 7th March      What is God asking of me?
Thurs 14th March    What do I need to change?
Thurs 21st March    What can I do now to cherish God’s earth?
Organized by Wimbledon Green Churches Group. For more information please contact Juliet at St Mary’s Church, Christine at Dundonald Congregational Church and Paula at St Mark’s Church .
These events are open to everyone of all religions/denominations and none. Refreshments from 7.45pm and discussions start at 8pm. Find the venue HERE.
Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd March
Bicycle Clinic and Guided Cycle Tour
West Barnes Library

Sat 2nd March   12 noon to 4pm
Bicycle clinic
Bring your bicycle along to the free bicycle clinic. 

Sun 3rd March   10am - 12 noon
Guided cycle tour

An escorted family cycle ride, starting and ending at West Barnes library. 6 miles, easy ride.

Merton Cycling Campaign and Friends of West Barnes Library are hosting these events. Reserve your place for either by contacting 020 8274 5789 or email  Find more information HERE. Find West Barnes Library HERE
Sat 20th April 
Upcycling Wimbledon & Festival of Ideas
St Mark's Church Hall   SW19 7ND

11am - 12 noon    UPCYCLING FAIR
Come along and find out about Upcycling - doing something better with food, fabric, clothes before discarding. Lots of ideas - how to mend clothes, cook something with food reaching its use-by date, make a lovely shopping bag or rug with beautiful old fabric, and lots more. If you would like to help or have an idea for a stall, contact 

A brainstorming workshop to look at what can be done - to improve Wimbledon; to make walking and cycling a better choice; saving energy; helping people to grow, make and sell food in Wimbledon ... or any other topic. There will be time at the start for you to tell everyone what you (or your group) are doing to make Wimbledon better and greener. For more information, contact

Download a poster HERE or ask Juliet or Joyce for a paper copy. We'd be grateful if you could publicise this event to your networks. Find the venue HERE.

Mon 29th April   2-4pm
Make Your Own Shopping Bag
in the Chapter Room at St Mark’s Church (behind Wimbledon library)

Come along and join this friendly group. Learn some basic sewing techniques or help others to do so. Bring your own fabric or select from the range provided. Find the venue 

 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
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. Refreshments are available. Find out more by contacting Tim tel. 07836781498 or   Download more information HERE.

Second Sunday   10am - 12 noon
 Make a Difference  
This group meets up at a different Colliers Wood location each month. The group plants, trims trees, tidies up plastic bags, does weeding - whatever is needed. For information on where to meet up, see HERE.
Second Saturday  10am - 2pm
 The Windmill Market
St Mark's Church, behind Wimbledon Library   SW19 7ND
This is a new market organised by Mums on the Go. This market will showcase local arts, crafts, food and other artisan products. The next market is on March 9th. If you would like to take a stall or want more information, contact

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 Mar. To find out how to get to the Hand & Racquet, see here. Find the venue here.
Community Gardens - Christ Church & Fireplace

There are regular work days throughout the growing season. The Christ Church garden is in West Wimbledon and the Fireplace Garden is just off Kingston Rd. To find out when the workdays are, get in touch with or see HERE.

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 the venue HERE
Every Saturday, 10am-3pm
Morden Hall Farmers’ Market
Morden Hall Park  SM4 5JD

Fresh fruit and veg, free range meat from Kent, tasty preserves & relishes, Somerset cheeses, cakes & bakes, artisan bread. Organised by City & Country Farmers’ Markets and the National Trust. Also Arts and Crafts stalls. For more information, see HERE.


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