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Take A Plastic-Free Pledge: Refill Merton Launch

 

Sustainable Merton, the borough’s leading environmental charity, is excited to announce the launch of Refill Merton, the latest addition to their #PlasticFreeMerton campaign. Sustainable Merton, the borough’s leading environmental charity, is excited to announce the launch of Refill Merton, the latest addition to their #PlasticFreeMerton campaign.

Research shows that despite more people than ever carrying reusable water bottles, over 71% of us feel uncomfortable asking for a refill at restaurants, cafes and bars, if we’re not buying something at the same time.

Plastic bottles now make up one-third of all ocean plastic pollution and there are now over 159 plastic bottles for every mile of beach in the UK. The overall impact on our wildlife is catastrophic, with 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million seabirds being killed by plastic pollution every year.

Sustainable Merton, the borough’s leading environmental charity, is excited to announce the launch of Refill Merton. This national award-winning scheme by City to Sea, tackles plastic pollution at the source. Through bringing a local Refill chapter to Merton, Sustainable Merton aims to disrupt the social norm of buying bottled water when on-the-go, and make carrying a reusable bottle the new normal.

 

How does Refill work?

Through the Refill App, you will be able to easily identify friendly local Refill Stations where you can ask for free tap water.

By using the Refill App and saying no to single-use plastic, you are helping to protect our oceans, combating climate change, and saving money all at the same time.

There are currently 28 venues in Wimbledon offering free water refills, with many more joining soon. Download the Refill App for the location of your nearest Refill station.

 

“Combatting plastic pollution is an issue that is close to the heart of many of our volunteers. If this is something that you are passionate about, consider joining us as a Community Champion. We will help you become an ambassador for sustainability in your community.”

– Rachael Edwards, Community Champions Project Manager and Volunteer Coordinator at Sustainable Merton

 

Refill Merton will officially be launching on Wednesday 22nd January, 11am-2pm (inside Centre Court Shopping Centre, Wimbledon – outside Lakeland).

Come out to learn more, take a plastic-free pledge, and help Sustainable Merton combat plastic pollution one Refill at a time!

 

Find out more about the Refill launch event here.

 

‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ Street Art

‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ is new wall art installation in Wimbledon Town Centre, created by Love Wimbledon, in collaboration with artist Louis Masai and local photographer and culture campaigner Cindy Sasha. This piece aims to raise awareness of the decline of British birds in London, particularly the House Sparrow, renowned for its birdsong and seen as a vital part of urban life.

Brought to life by a London-based artist, often best known for his dynamic and inspiring wall murals of endangered animals, ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ features a male house sparrow and female house sparrow inferring the question of ‘where has the sparrow song gone’. Based on the hit single ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ by Icelandic musician Björk, the art reflects how birdsong has reduced over time, due to the population decline of this bird species.

The disappearance of birdsong could have a profound impact on human health. The natural sounds of birdsong have been linked to improved mental and emotional health amongst humans. Hearing birdsong allows us to connect with the natural world and can be the perfect antidote to the pressures of modern life.

According to The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), there is a severe decline in the UK house sparrow population, estimated as dropping by 71 per cent since 1977. This has led to the RSPB now red-listing House Sparrows as a species of high conservation concern.

Rather than adopting the newer patchwork style, seen in much of Louis Masai’s more recent work, the artist drew on a more realistic, older style of painting to embody the central message of this piece – the critical situation facing British birdlife. Louis Masai is a London-based painter, sculptor and street artist, who uses his art in the form of murals, paintings and installations to highlight and initiate discussion surrounding climate change, endangerment of species, conservation and species equality.

Wimbledon has seen a renaissance in cultural experiences ranging from music, theatres, art galleries and literary festivals. It is a place where there is often more than what meets the eye. As said by Cindy Sasha, “street art can change a landscape of a town centre. I love it when the love spreads through art and sends such a positive message – we need more of it!”. Love Wimbledon create and fund a variety of cultural and environmental notions including the first rainbow pedestrian crossing in the UK, in partnership with Merton Council, to show support to the LGBTQ community in Wimbledon Town Centre. Find out more here.

 

“This collaboration has brought an important message to Wimbledon, whilst also developing a stronger and more vivid cultural strategy for visitors to experience the town centre. The art is impactful, meaningful and has had a positive response from business, visitors and local residents. We were pleased to hear we have a crew of House Sparrows in Wimbledon Town Centre – something to be truly celebrated.”

Sally Warren, Love Wimbledon

 

Find this new street art piece on Alwyne Road, off Wimbledon Hill Road, in Wimbledon Town Centre, and help to spread this message. Watch the public reaction to the art.

 

Love Wimbledon Plant Over 250 New Trees

Love Wimbledon can proudly announce that it has planted the longest native woodland hedge in Wimbledon.

Ahead of National Tree Week,  Love Wimbledon has joined the Woodland Trust’s The Big Climate Fightback and pledged to help fight the climate emergency, by planting over 250 new saplings in Hartfield Road.

As well as being one of the best ways to fight a changing climate, planting trees can help to improve air quality in urban areas and protect biodiversity. Younger trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, at a rate of nearly 6kgs per tree. This means that the new hedge planted by Love Wimbledon will absorb approximately 1,500kgs of CO2 and have a significant impact upon air pollution in Wimbledon Town Centre.

This comes as part of the ‘Free Trees for Schools and Communities’ programme run by the Woodland Trust, and funded by Sainsburys, People’s Postcode Lottery, Yorkshire Tea, Joules and Selfridges.

Love Wimbledon’s double-row hedge features a variety of species including Rowan, Hazel, Cherry, Elder and Crab Apple trees. This carefully-selected combination of saplings, will offer beautiful  blossoms, bright berries and stunning autumn displays, whilst also acting as a connection for existing woodland, to help wildlife stay on  the move.

Trees are essential for people, wildlife and the environment. They absorb carbon, fight flooding, reduce pollution, nurture wildlife and make landscapes more resilient. But given the alarming rate of global warming on our planet, reducing our carbon emissions will never be enough.

 

‘It is vital that we grow a UK-wide patchwork of trees and woods – not just by planting, but also through natural regeneration. The woods, hedges and green spaces we create buffer existing habitats, tackle climate change and reverse wildlife decline – all at the same time’.

– The Woodland Trust

 

So, join us in reducing our impact on the environment by helping to look after this hedge. If you are passing by, give the trees a little drink and help them flourish!