Ethical & Environmental Issues at Pembroke

Pembroke Green News

Pembroke College is consistently recognised as one of the greenest Cambridge colleges and this year we are the fourth most environmentally friendly according to the CUECS Green League Table ( We have also achieved a Bronze Green Impact Award in 2015 ( and will be going for a Silver Award this year! We are still planning to improve energy efficiency in many areas, and reduce the college's carbon footprint through a number of schemes. We have recently conducted a thermal imaging survey to identify key areas for improvement.

If you wish to receive regular-ish email updates about Green events in Cambridge, and progress being made in Pembroke, please email and I will add you to the mailing list!

If you enjoy the procrastination opportunities made available to you via Facebook, then do not hesitate to like the Student Switch-Off , a university wide energy-saving competition between Cambridge colleges with loads of prizes up for grabs! Also join the Pembroke Exchange group on Facebook; somewhere where you can advertise items you no longer need and vice versa. It’s perfect for bops, swaps and props!

External links

There is also a University-wide Green campaign, run by CUSU Ethical Affairs. If you are interested in being involved in environmental/ethical campaigning at the University level, get in touch with them. Any help is always welcome. The Ethical team has been particularly active this year, and excellent progress is being made in terms of individual colleges, and university departments.

The Cambridge Hub is a student-led organisation which aims to co-ordinate all of the different ethical/environmentally minded organisations acting in Cambridge. It is definitely worth checking out, as a great source of information about the different groups and societies around Cambridge, and what they each aim to do. Their weekly email is a very useful source of information; if you are interested, subscribe here.



Ten Ways To Be Green In 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---Heating---Lights---Plastic Bags---Drying Clothes---Reporting Faults---Personal Electronics---Washing Up---Trough---Shopping

1) Recycling

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.

2) Heating

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 :(

3) Lights

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!

4) Plastic Bags

There are better things to worry about in life than plastic bags, but that's no real reason to use loads of the things. Sainsbury's do good sturdy bags and Tesco's have ones with ladybirds on them - you just need to remember them when you head off into town. For bigger shops I sometimes take a rucksack which stops me trying to balance all the bags on my handlebars. Lots of types of plastic bags can be recycled (see here) and there's a facility for this at Sainsbury's. I'll also put a recycling bin in the plodge at the end of each term for any you have lying around.

5) Drying Clothes

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.

6) Reporting Faults

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.

7) Personal Electronics

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 computers left running in college throughout the day and it's a real shame. One good routine to get into is just to turn off all your plugs at the switch when you leave your room to go out, it's simple and makes a huge difference!

8) Washing up

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.

9) Trough

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! Eating wisely in general is a great way of saving energy, for instance, vegetarianism!

10) Shopping

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 and disagreements are most welcome at


This Website is maintained by the Pembroke JPC IT Officer.

The initial design was built by Vikash Patel.

Cover Photo Credits: Alex Łyszkowski  

Special Thanks to Chris

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