We are conscious of environmental and ethical issues and are constantly taking action to minimise Girton’s effect on the environment by providing the necessary means to reduce our carbon footprint and by educating and inspiring students to take individual responsibility.

Girton College Allotment Society

In 2011 Johnny Bruce founded the Girton Allotment Society with the help of a few faithful followers. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, not just providing vegetables and herbs for our own consumption but also providing a place for the birds, bees and (if you’re lucky) occasional amphibians to hang out. The idea is not to be neat and tidy but to sit back and let nature do the work, enjoying all of the sights and smells that it brings with it. The society is therefore very low commitment, meeting every Sunday morning for a couple of hours to plant, weed and drink tea together. In the past there have also been cider pressing days and other workshops.

If you’re interested, please contact Ciara McGlade (cm668) or Jack Rans (jr554) for more details. It’s the ideal way to beat the exam term blues!


For a more poetic description of the allotment and its founding see here:


NEW recycling bins for dry mixed recyclables (plastic, paper, cardboard, aluminium cans), glass and biodegradable waste available in all corridor kitchens mean that Girton students are spoilt for facilities. Printer cartridge facilities are available at the Porters’ Lodge. Battery recycling coming soon…

We take part in the CUECS Green League Table and hope to do very well in the recycling section next year!

For more about recycling in college, see http://www.girton.cam.ac.uk/accommodation-handbook-appendix-h.


The College is signed up to the Carbon Reduction Commitment and always aims to continue to reduce its energy consumption. This can be hard for such a large, old building but many large steps have already been taken to continue to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, low energy lightbulbs have been installed in every bedroom making a huge reduction of our lighting energy usage.

The College continually assesses its energy consumption by complete the Cambridge University Environmental Consulting Service (CUECS) Green League Table Survey, which highlights areas that can be improved and areas where the College is doing well.

An extension to the college has recently been unveiled and will house solar panels along the length of the roof. This demonstrates the pioneering attitude of the College and signifies a new direction for college management on sustainability.


As well as the “Weekly Green Award” and publicity of green events, Girton students are treated with a Green Underground (a party in the Girton Bar) to capture the enthusiasm and promote green issues. Previous themes have included “Anything But Clothes” and produced some fantastic (recyclable) fancy dress.

Laura Highcock, Winner of the “Anything But Clothes” Underground Fancy Dress Competition Fancy Dress at the Anything But Clothes Underground 2011

Ethical Investments

Included in our Environmental Policy are strategies for investment in companies not only clear of unethical conduct, but those with good environmental track records, and to bank with the Co-op.


After pressure from the students, the Girton College Cafeteria now stocks a range of Fairtrade snacks and drinks. The food sources continue to be evaluated to try to bring students and fellows ethically sourced food with a low carbon footprint at an affordable price. A Fairtrade Tea Party hosted by the JCR Green Officer allows students to enjoy Fairtrade goodness for free every year.