Actually, it is easy being green
In a week where the world is anxiously watching America’s environmental strategy develop, you may be wondering, what’s the point of collapsing that cardboard box when the news is telling you about entire ice caps collapsing?
Well, there are two answers to that: one, every bit helps and if everyone gets on top of their daily behaviour it might just add up to an ice cap; and two, contrary to popular belief, it’s easy to be green!
Caroline Adams, Housekeeper, and student representatives for being green in Pembroke are here to help. Being green has never been easier, and there have never been fewer excuses to make a contribution.
Caroline Adams’ tips:
1. If you live in college, or in a house or hostel, you have recycling facilities. Please use them!
2. It sounds simple, but do remember to turn lights of in rooms and bathrooms, and taps. College is making a move towards more motion-sensor lights and timed taps, but in the meantime it’s up to you to save electricity by doing things so easy there’s really no excuse.
3. Don’t dry your clothes in your room, because it makes the walls damp and the curtains mouldy, and no one wants that.
4. Those big pink bins? They take all recycling, even plastic bags, but those bags need to empty. Carry your recycling in a bag by all means, but please empty it out (flattening any cardboard boxes) instead of putting the whole bag in.
5. Student green wardens are there to keep on top of recycling, and you can let the tutorial office or Caroline know if you’re having problems or the recycling isn’t getting done. However, if your green warden is away, bear in mind that other people might need to temporarily take on their responsibilities to keep kitchens clean and tidy.
6. Often the housekeepers are asked for more recycling boxes for the kitchens, but all this does is fill up the kitchens and make mess. The solution is not another box, but emptying the first one! This is incredibly easy in college because there are big purple-pink bins near M staircase and Foundress Court, and even outside college emptying your recycling bin more than once a fortnight shouldn’t fill up the Council bins too fast. If you don’t know what day your rubbish gets collected, put your postcode into the Council website to find out. If you have a lot of rubbish it’s fine to put some to the side in a strong cardboard box, but just remember to be considerate to other people who live on the street.
Lily Maxwell – Green Impact assistant
Katie Pringle – JP Green officer
Jacob Ashton – Pembroke Orchard
Pembroke orchard was created to address the issue of student engagement with green issue by creating a hub for green activities. They collaborate a lot with the Green impact group and JPC officer, particularly on big events like Green week, which starts on the 6th of February.
Green Impact is a university wide scheme monitoring college’s environmental impact, and last year Pembroke received a Gold Award – despite the fact that then-assistant Katie undertook the whole investigation by herself, having not been informed that she could set up a whole team of 6 or 7 people to help! This year Lily is learning from Katie’s difficulties and there’s a lot more teamwork involved, not just within the Green Impact team, but between all aspects of student environmental efforts in college. Pembroke Orchard creates a good central point for organising, but it’s low intensity. So if you’re interested in environmental issues but don’t want to sign up to another society with demanding obligations, fear not. Pembroke Orchard is there whether you want to go to one meeting or ten, or even if you just have one idea you’d like to pitch.
It’s not just students either. Through meetings with staff in college, student representatives are able to make their concerns and ideas heard. Katie, Lily and Jacob are keen to keep working on staff-student engagement.
Inspired by Pink Week (which you can learn more about here), green week is about raising awareness, collaborating with other societies to create a college-wide series of events. There will be talks in collaboration with the Stokes Society, a green formal, collage society art, and a photo campaign. If you’re interested, please get in touch with Katie or join the Pembroke Orc hard. You can engage as much or as little as you want, and in whatever way works for you.