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DECEMBER 2018
Welcome to our December newsletter!
A major report on how the climate could change over the next century has been launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Using the latest science from the Met Office and around the world, the UK Climate Projections 2018 illustrate a range of future climate scenarios until 2100 – showing increasing summer temperatures, more extreme weather and rising sea levels are all on the horizon and highlighting the need for urgent international action.
We must continue to lobby and influence to mitigate the effects of climate change and do what we can personally and in our own homes.

So in this edition, and as we approach Christmas, we ask you to think about food. Maybe by giving to those who are in food poverty, by wasting less food, by not buying in plastic and by using your food waste bins to help make energy.  - Diana Sterck, CEO
FOOD 
Give a little this Christmas
Merton's foodbanks are working as hard as ever to make sure that people aren't left hungry this Christmas. They do a fantastic job but very much rely on your generous donations, and time, during this extremely busy period.

Donate Food - Wimbledon Foodbank and Merton Faith in Action both accept food donations, so please check their websites to find out which items are needed right now and where to them drop off.
Give Your Time - During Merton Giving Week, Sustainable Merton's Diana and Amy visited Wimbledon Foodbank to see first-hand the great work the team do.
Demand on their service is huge at this time of year, so helping hands are urgently needed! Volunteer drop-in sessions are running from 17th December until Christmas - simply walk in and help any Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 12 - 2.
Contact Corinne for more information - wimbledonfoodbank@gmail.com
WASTE
'Tis the season we overload the trolley...
... and our environment pays the price.

According to Unilever figures, over four million Christmas dinners are thrown away every year - equivalent to 263,000 turkeys! If sent to landfill, this avoidable waste will decompose, releasing methane - a potent greenhouse gas.

Whilst we enjoy the festivities, it's important that we remember to reduce the amount of food waste we produce, and recycle any unavoidable waste - such as bones and peelings, which can be turned into energy to power our cosy Christmas homes. 

Want to waste less? Watch our short animation to see what happens to your food waste and read Juliet's top tips to make the most of your turkey and trimmings...
WATCH NOW
According to Biffa, the UK creates 30 per cent more waste than usual over the festive period, throwing away more than 277,000 miles of wrapping paper - enough to stretch to the moon (!), and sending over 100 million bags of rubbish to landfill.

We're not happy about this. And our guess is that you aren't either? So, thanks to our fabulous Community Champions, we've compiled a list of tried and tested tips to inspire you - our Waste Warriors, to take a stand against the crazy consumption that is tainting our Christmas cheer!

From plastic-free hacks, to simple tips to reduce food waste and homemade gift ideas - however big or small, these are the changes that can make a difference!
GET INSPIRED
Turning the Tide on Plastic
A new major report has found that Britain's top 10 supermarkets are flooding the planet with 810,000 tonnes of single-use plastic every year!

The study states that half of supermarkets surveyed have no specific targets to reduce plastic packaging while most of those which do are removing it at a pace that would take 20 years to eliminate all throwaway plastic from their shelves!

We need to act now! We can all make a difference, and journalist, broadcaster and eco lifestyle expert Lucy Siegle has set out to show us how in her new book - 'Turning the Tide on Plastic', reviewed by Community Champion Rachel here...
READ RACHEL'S BOOK REVIEW
(Why not add a copy to your Christmas wish list to kick start your plastic-free 2019!)
AIR QUALITY

Working together to clean up London's air
Of all sections of our society, children are among the most vulnerable to pollution related illness. A new study, published in the Lancet Public Health, has found the capacity of children’s lungs was reduced by about 5% when nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution was above legal levels.

Raising awareness of this issue and the risks to health is high on our agenda, and we, along with other community groups, were invited to join the Mayor of London to discuss the key role we have in the fight for cleaner air. Community Champion Vera (pictured above, left, with fellow Champion Rachel) reports on the event...
READ VERA'S BLOG
Mitigating air pollution around Merton's schools
Green Coffee Coordinator Joyce Pountain has been following the air quality debate around the proposed development of a new high school along Merantun Way, and has done a lot of work measuring air quality and particulate levels.

With planning permission awarded earlier this month, we are in favour of the air quality mitigation steps put forward by Joyce in her letter, including:
  • closure of the school if there are illegal levels of air pollution anywhere on site;
  • making the whole area a local Ultra-Low-Emissions-Zone;
  • preventing traffic from cutting through from Merton High Street to Merantum Way, via Abbey Road and High Path;
  • publishing of all current modelled estimates of air quality at the site by Air Quality Consultants, along with assumptions used to predict future air quality;
  • ongoing, real life measurements of air quality measurements to be taken to monitor pollution levels at the school and surrounding streets;
  • and the installation of public air quality monitors so that there is full transparency about air quality on the school site and surrounding streets.
Want to know more about the levels of air pollution around the proposed site and what can be done to mitigate the effects?
READ JOYCE'S FULL LETTER
ENERGY
Keeping warm in winter
The majority of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions arise from the burning of non-renewable fossil fuels.

With a recent study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) now reporting that the impacts and costs of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) of global warming will be far greater than expected, it is more important than ever that we act locally to reduce our consumption of energy.

At this time of year, paying energy bills and keeping the home warm is also a significant concern for many people experiencing fuel poverty. But through simple, low-cost measures, residents can improve the energy efficiency of their homes to reduce their carbon footprint, whilst keeping warm and saving money.
READ OUR ENERGY SAVING QUICK GUIDE
HAVE YOUR SAY
Three consultations concerning local environmental issues are now open!
Residents, businesses and stakeholders must come together to help guide the development of such key plans which will affect the future of our borough.
Merton's Local Plan: Stage 2
Merton Council is reviewing its Local Plan to help guide planning applications and shape development in Merton for the next 15 years.

Where should we build new homes? How can we encourage sustainable travel? What more can we do for our town centres and local businesses? Join the conversation to have your say on these important decisions. More...
Consultation ends 6th January 2019
Future Wimbledon Masterplan
Merton Council have launched their new proposals for the future development of Wimbledon town centre.

Your feedback is welcome, and important! Views and ideas submitted by local residents and businesses will help to guide and shape the plan, so please do get involved. Find out more
Consultation ends 6th January 2019
The Sutton Link
TFL are consulting on proposals for a new, direct and quicker transport link between Sutton and Merton.

The Sutton Link aims to create a high-capacity route for people travelling between Sutton town centre and Merton using zero-emission vehicles. It is also intended to make journeys by public transport quicker and more attractive, and reduce the need for trips by private car... find out more
Consultation ends 6th January 2019
UPCOMING EVENTS
Dear our wonderful Sustainable Merton-ers, that is supporters, staff, volunteers, trustees, Community Champions - in no particular order!

We would love to get together with you all to celebrate our successes this year, and to say a big thank you to you all for your amazing contribution to Sustainable Merton. And of course, to wish you a Merry Christmas! We hope to see many of you there!
Please RSVP, so that we have an idea of numbers for nibbles. Thank you.
RSVP
Merton's Environment Sub Group
Wednesday 16th January
As part of the Merton Partnership, the aim of the Environment Sub Group is to consider the overall environmental strategy for the borough and partnership activity, with particular reference to waste, air quality, energy and food.

If you, or a member of your organisation, are interested in joining the Environment Sub Group, please contact Sustainable Merton for more information.

The next meeting will focus on AIR QUALITY
REGISTER YOUR INTEREST
All the best from the Sustainable Merton team
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