At Lucy Cavendish, we take responsibility for the environment. We recognise our environmental impact, and strive to manage and reduce it; the College is always looking for new ways to be as green as possible. In accordance with Lucy values, we approach the reality of climate change with integrity, dynamism, and an ethical sense of commitment.
Our students’ environmental awareness is already award-winning. Last year, Lucy Cavendish students won the Gold Award in a National Union of Students competition, as part of their ‘Switch Off’ campaign; they won for their high levels of energy saving in College accommodation (more here). In 2019, our students are going for the NUS and University of Cambridge Green Impact Awards, to further promote sustainability and what we can do to make a difference. To further raise awareness in College, environmental issues have an increasingly prominent place around Lucy Cavendish, such as on information screens and in the Functional Fair.
To conserve energy, College washing machines and dryers have been replaced with more energy efficient models and clothes airers have also been replaced. Rotary washing lines are being provided in accommodation gardens to cut down on tumble drying. Where possible, eco cleaning products have been introduced for our Housekeeping team. There is a new focus on vegetarian meals to further raise awareness and reduce our impact, as well as a vegan curry night.
To reduce waste, single use plastics have been drastically reduced in our servery and our Nautilus Café, and we now use compostable containers. To encourage reusable containers, additional fees are now charged for disposable coffee cups and soon this will be introduced for takeaway food cartons too. Lucy Tupperware will be introduced as College merchandise, alongside reusable Lucy cups, which are already for sale in the Porters’ Lodge. Plastic bath mats for conference guests have been replaced with recyclable versions. Recycling bins are now in place in all offices, kitchens and accommodation, space permitting. Degradable bin bags are also supplied. The EACH charity drive, donating items that would otherwise be thrown away, has been a great success, and will continue each year.
Lucy Cavendish has always been deeply rooted in the natural world. We are proud of our gardens, which are diverse, unrestricting (students are allowed on the lawns, after all), and celebrated with garden parties. We recently acquired four guinea pigs – another way our students’ wellbeing is addressed through connections to nature. We plan to extend this with a Lucy Cavendish Gardening Society and tours of the gardens, to develop environmental awareness from first-hand experience. A vegetable trough has been provided in the garden of one of our student houses and we look forward to seeing the fruits of the students’ labour this spring!
As part of our commitment to fundraising for good causes and for the environment, we hold regular pre-loved clothing sales. Not only is this is a fun and economical way of updating your wardrobe, but it benefits the environment by eliminating waste – the ultimate form of recycling! Not to mention the money it raises for our deserving local charities.
The Green Team continues to meet regularly, putting initiatives in place and finding new ways to reduce our environmental impact. Made up of staff and students, the team works with Lucians throughout the College, and is also seeking to expand; it aims to have a student Green Leader for each accommodation block in the next two years. Estelle Fuccellaro holds the Lucy Student Union Green Officer role.
To learn more about sustainability at Lucy Cavendish, please contact our Green Team Leader Katie McNally.