A LOCAL sustainable group has been awarded National Lottery funding to set up an eco pop up providing residents with their own swap and repair hub.

Once a month Sustainable Thornton Heath will offer a range of free services to encourage people to reuse, repair or learn new recycling skills.

The hub which begins on Saturday running from 1-4pm offers an alternative to the throwaway society. Some of the things that are being provided are refills of body care and cleaning products, free clothing repairs, swaps on clothes, toys and more.

The Sustainable Living Hub takes place on the last Saturday afternoon of every month for a whole year at The Salvation Army.
The group put in a successful bid for £3,300 to the National Lottery’s Together for our Planet fund which supports communities across the UK to take action on climate change

Ian Morris, from Sustainable Thornton Heath said: “It’s incredibly exciting, but there’s so much to do, and we need volunteers from the community to step forward and help make this a reality. There are various things we need people to do, and the more people that step forward, the less each of those volunteers is going to need to do.”

The hub will also act as a Terracycle point for numerous hard-to-recycle items, with workshops and talks on a different topic each month.

There will be free plants-based milk tasting, free children’s activities, refreshments, as well as lots of information, advice and encouragement from local groups and organisations across key topics such as energy, transport, food and finance.

Sustainable Thornton Heath was set up in late 2019 by a handful of residents with ambition of helping residents live more sustainably, and the town become more sustainable. 

It has been holding regular meetings ever since and these moved on-line since the pandemic and also has a monthly stall outside Tesco on a Saturday morning where it hands out leaflets on eco-tips and talks to passers-by about sustainability and the group.

Ian added: “We wanted to establish something in the town that allowed people to not only be able to find out more about sustainable living choices, but to also be able to access some of these on their doorstep”. 

To find out more about Sustainable Thornton Heath and its monthly meetings and other activities visit its website www.sustaintheath.wordpress.com or join its Facebook page. 

Anyone who is willing to help with the hub should contact Ian on: sustainablethorntonheath@gmail.com 

After seeing a small coffee shop in East Dulwich give away all its coffee ground waste to residents for their gardens, Ian Morris (pictured) was inspired to try and do the same.

Other members of the group shared Ian’s inspiration and approached people from Thornton Heath Rec Community Garden, Grangewood Park Edible Gardens and Spa Hill Allotments, to see if they would be interested in receiving regular coffee ground waste for transforming it in to compost. 

The members then approached Coffee Zone next to Thornton Heath station to share the idea and ask if they might be interested in giving away their waste.

Manageress Renata Wawrzyniecka actually uses some of the coffee ground waste in her own garden so instantly saw the value in the idea and agreed.

Graham Mitchell from Thornton Heath Rec Community Garden got together with Coffee Zone to work out the logistics with Renata.  A system was agreed, and Graham was the first to collect waste for the multiple compost bins at the Community Garden.  There is now WhatsApp group where Renata can alert the recipients  from the three green spaces when the waste level is getting high for collection.

Ian said: “Reducing waste to a minimum, and then finding an alternative use for any unavoidable waste is a key part of a sustainable future and what is known as the circular economy.  It’s what nature does, and we need to learn from that.”

The group plans on reviewing the demand for the waste in the New Year, and then deciding whether to approach other coffee outlets to ask if they are interested in helping expand the scheme further.  If you’re a coffee shop i and are interested in being part of it, e-mail  sustainablethorntonheath@gmail.com.