Butler College JCR

Environment Friendly Living

Environmental Work at Josephine Butler College

Green JCR

Butler is a college that prides itself on its key value of being a green college. Since our inception in 2006, we have already won the prestigious Green Tourism Gold Award and were recently nominated for Green Tourism’s even more illustrious GOLDSTAR Award. As in every aspect of the college, we do not rest on our past success and particularly aim to reduce our energy usage by more than 6% over the course of this year. To achieve this we all need to take extra care not to be wasteful with the energy we use.

Things we can do

Join Green Comm:

If you want to help identify and implement environmental changes in college, why not come along to Green Comm. We meet every Thursday at 7pm in the JCR Lounge. From energy campaigns to Butler Bikes, Fairtrade formals to sunflower competitions, we organise a range of events throughout the year.


About 40% of the energy we use at the college is used in cooking. To reduce this we strongly recommend you attempt to use the oven at the same time as other flatmates. Only put as much water into the kettle as you need and make sure you turn the oven and hobs off after using them. Why not cook with your flat mates – it saves energy, it’s more sociable… and it could save you money on your food bill! See the Green Comm. Recipe Book for recipe suggestions.

Lighting and Equipment:

Remember to turn off your lights after you leave your room or kitchen, setting your computer to hibernate or sleep mode after 15 minutes and switching off all non-essential equipment (refer to the Beat the Baseload stickers and ‘Switch it Off’ stickers for guidance.

Look out for the energy competition in second term where we could win £500 for the JCR just by reducing our energy usage.


The college also aims to minimise the amount of general waste that we produce. Using the recycling boxes in your kitchen goes a long way to this – refer to the Recycling Guide to identify what to put in which box and remember to wash out plastics and tins to avoid contamination. Red recycling bags have been provided in your room to help you collect your recycling for you to then sort into the kitchen Recycling boxes.


The water use of the college, particularly in the winter months, is surprisingly high. Try to stick to your shower timer and not spend more time in the shower than you need. Additionally avoid running a full sink to wash up only a handful of items.



To go a step further we need to take extra care when sourcing where items come from. By buying locally sourced foods cheaply at places like the Indoor Market we can minimise the distance our food has travelled and support local businesses.


When buying items from further afar we need to make sure the people producing them are getting a fair wage. A good way to ensure this is by buying Fairtrade products. Except from the wine, all the food and drink that can be Fairtrade at the college bar is Fairtrade. Additionally, Green Comm will be running its popular Fairtrade Cheese & Wine nights and a Fairtrade Fortnight with lots of Fairtrade events including a Fairtrade Easter Egg Hunt and a Fairtrade Pancake night.

If you want to buy Fairtrade products yourself, the University’s Food Co-op Society is a good place to start with all items being Fairtrade and not being sold for a profit.


With an array of high quality wildlife habitats including deciduous woodland, coniferous woodland, grassland and wetland habitats, Durham is home to many species of wildlife. A great place tofind out more is the Botanic Gardens. You can do more to support biodiversity by taking part in allotment schemes, participating in nature trails and supporting the

University’s Biodiversity Survey



Travelling by car leads to a large proportion of the world’s carbon output. By using environmentally friendly alternatives such as walking, using our Butler Bikes bicycle sharing scheme or cycling with your own bike, using public transport such as the Park & Ride Bus for £1 or the X1 bus to Queen’s Campus in Stockton, we can reduce the amount of time we spend using cars. For more information see:



Want to find out more? Why not visit the

Greenspace Website


This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at butlerjcr.co.uk

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