Students take the green lead

Trinity students are leading the way in greening the College as part of a sustainable living agenda that involves growing vegetables, sharing food, more recycling and reducing energy use.

In June this year, Trinity was awarded Silver in the University of Cambridge Green Impact Awards. The scheme, run by the Environment and Energy Section, supports and encourages departments and colleges across the University to reduce environmental impacts.

Then TCSU Environmental Officer, Laura Hildt, who has now graduated, worked with Trinity College departments, including Catering, to introduce catering disposables made from renewable or recycled materials, all of which can be recycled with food waste. The College has also brought in KeepCups, which has reduced takeaway cups going into landfill.

‘Laura and her peers put in a lot of effort and were justly rewarded with Silver in a scheme fully backed by the College,’ said Trinity’s Junior Bursar, Jonny Bourne. ‘From a standing start, it was a great achievement.’

Now Mia Finnamore, a second-year Theology student, has taken the lead on the Green Impact Award – and a raft of green initiatives at Trinity. She said:

Trinity Green Thumbs is the new gardening society. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the College gardeners, the Pearce Hostel Garden will be renovated into a student-run allotment.

I hope that Trinity Green Thumbs will provide anyone interested in sustainability or gardening with the information and practical necessities to get involved with circular living and eating seasonally.

It’ll also be the perfect opportunity to get some fresh air, meet other green-thumbed people and have a break from a day in the library!

Mia is also planning Sunday trips to the farmers’ market in Cambridge and setting up a food-sharing forum.

I hope to encourage more students to be conscious of the packaging waste that comes with almost all supermarket foods and realise how cheap it is to buy locally! Through Facebook, people can offer unwanted – but still edible – food items – perhaps they bought too much, haven’t got around to cooking, or have leftover birthday cake. It’s a simple idea that has already been successfully set up at Newnham College, with lots of people getting involved.

Finally, Mia is organising the Student Switch Off campaign at Trinity this year. The NUS initiative seeks to go beyond being ‘environmentally friendly’ and make a concrete difference through reducing energy use. It’s not all staid and serious, says Mia. ‘There are competitions and prizes – including ice cream – and big benefits for the College and of course the planet.’

Details of Trinity Green Thumbs, Green Impact and weekly trips to the market can be found on the ‘green’ notice board in the College Bar and the TCSU website. Email Mia Finnamore for more information about the greening of Trinity.

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