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Environment and Sustainability at Merton

The MCR aims to increase the profile of environmental issues that affect graduates and the wider community. Together with the JCR and College management, we are working to improve Merton’s environmental performance. The committee includes a dedicated Environmental Representative, who keeps you up to date with environmental-themed events happening around Oxford and to whom you can address your College-related environmental concerns.

Recycling at Merton

The College has a well-established recycling system in graduate housing and the common areas, which the MCR is working to maintain and extend. All student rooms and kitchens are provided with recycling bins. Recyclable materials accepted include most types of packaging such as hard and soft plastics, metal tins, glass jars and bottles, as well as cardboard and paper. A more specific list of materials accepted for recycling is available in all student rooms.

Clothes and shoe banks are available in both the main college site (behind Rose Lane 1) and in the Holywell Annexe (near C block).

Sustainable Dining

A vegetarian option is available with every meal. The MCR liases with the College chef, Michael Wender, on your behalf in response to concerns about food sourcing and the standard of vegetarian meals served in Hall. Our chef is a fan of locally sourced food and attempts to buy seasonal fruit and vegetables when possible, particularly in summer. Most of the ingredients used in hall originate from British farms.

The kitchen was redesigned and upgraded in 2004 to incorporate a number of energy-saving facilities such as induction stoves and pressure cookers. Raw food waste from the kitchen and dining hall is composted and used by the garderners. Other waste is sent to council-operated anaerobic digester outside Oxford which generates electricity and compost.

Vegetable Garden

The graduate community maintain a small vegetable garden, which anyone can volunteer to work in. The Veg Patch is located at the back of Manor Place.

Vegetarian Cooking Group

Merton MCR boasts a vegetarian appreciation cooking group, which meets a couple of times a term to enjoy home-cooked dinner. The Merton Veggie Appreciation Group is a new society established in 2012 which brings students together to source fresh, local produce and cook dinner together. Our Environmental Rep, Clarissa Baerenfaenger, is keen to provide you with more information or take ideas on events for the Veggie Appreciation Group.

Other Environmental-themed Events

The MCR hosts a couple of environmental-themed events a term, such as film screenings and small fundraisers for charities. You are warmly encouraged to get involved in planning events and helping tackle Merton’s environmental issues.

Electricity Usage at Merton

Electricity usage for most college rooms is individually metered. Students are allocated 1000 free units of electricity per term. Any excess units used are charged at 8p per unit. Most students do not exceed this allowance. Students are advised not to leave windows open while having the heating on, and to opt for dressing up warmly indoors instead of turning the thermostat up.