Ten Ways to be Green at Pembroke!
Here are what I consider to be my 'top ten' green tips for living in Pembroke. If you disagree, then tell me. If you agree, then it'd be lovely if you tell me that too! All of the tips are fairly easy to do - no major change in lifestyle needed - so there's no excuse not to try them! Just click on a link to take you to that section of the page
Recycling is dead simple at Pembroke. There's a recycling box in every gyp room (if there isn't in your gyp room then e-mail me and there soon will be!) in which you can recycle most things. Larger or more obscure items you might have to recycle yourself. Check this page for details of all the recycling available in Pembroke and let me know if you would like any more facilities.
Some parts of Pembroke can be especially chilly in the winter monthes. Fear not! In the bottom of Q staircase live the maintianance men who are happy to loan a heater to warm your cockles. These heaters use an aweful lot of power however, so please do remember to turn them off when you're good and toasty and to shut your windows before firing your heater up. Pembroke loses a lot of energy by not always doing this :(
Your main room light, your desk light, the gyp room, over your sink, in the toilet... They're really easy to switch off when you don't need them. You're an intelligent person. Switch on!
What you eat is one of the largest determinants of your personal carbon footprint. Certain foods are particularly energy intensive to produce, such as meat and dairy products. There are a variety of reasons why production of these foods is worse for the environment: livestock often produce large amounts of methane, the most potent greenhouse gas; large amounts of grain are required to sustain livestock over winter, inefficiently converting precious food/biofuel resources into meat/dairy; there are various ethical issues associated with the milk industry, not least that the female cows are kept pregnant/recently pregnant to maintain milk supplies, with their calves removed from the mother just after birth and all male calves culled. It has been calculated that if you live on a diet of entirely milk and meat, walking is actually a more carbon-intensive form of transport than driving! So, to reduce your carbon footprint, try to generally cut down on meat and dairy! How about becoming a week-day vegetarian? Or if that seems too much, how about two vegetarian days a week? :) Give it a try!!
There's a whole heap of stuff that the catering department does to help Pembroke be an environmentally and ethically friendly place. Plus cooking for such large numbers uses far less electricity. Taking advantage of what trough has to offer will help make a dint in the college's impact on the planet. And it's really tasty too!
Not that I'm suggesting we all air our dirty laundry in public, but there often isn't any need to use the Pembroke driers. Picking up a drying rack (for example from Argos for a tenner) at the start of term will get your washing dry, save you loads of 50p's, and leave your room smelling wonderfully Alpine Fresh whenever you do a wash. Washing lines in your room also work well, just buy a ball of washing line and pin it up.
Getting in touch with a friendly maintainance man when you first spot a fault with a tap, washing machine, light bulb, etc... will save you hassle in the future and stop resources being wasted in college. The guys in maintainance are dead helpful and live in the bottom of Q staircase.
Of course use the equipment you feel necessary to make yourself comfortable, but make sure to turn it off when you don't need it. There's loads of cumputers left running in college throughout the day and it's a real shame :( We're not supposed to have mini-fridges in college rooms. If you're worried your food might go missing if you leave it in a communal fridge then have a chat to the people you share it with. People at Pembroke tend to be really understanding about things like that.
No kidding, you can be green here too! Doing more washing up at once uses far less water and washing up liquid. A washing up bowl reduces the size of the sink and thus the amount of water you use! You can find eco-friendly washing up liquid in shops such as Sainsbury's and Oxfam. Something on my to do list is to look into eco cleaning products for college. If you want to lend a hand then feel free to e-mail.
This isn't strictly 'in college', but what you buy in shops has a big impact over three years at Pembroke. One of the simplest and most effective things which can be done is to buy things which have minimal packaging. By not taking home lots of bits of cardboard, plastic, foam, and the rest you're reducing your waste output and carbon footprint. Cambridge has some of the best charity shops I've ever seen. Don't bother with the Oxfam on Magdeline Bridge - they've seen you coming - but head out to the Grafton Centre where they are piled high with useful and good quality items.
Comments, suggestions and disagreements are most welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to come along for an informal discussion of ideas and improvements, come to the "green team " lunch - every Tuesday lunchtime during term-time, in trough.