Just because you’re going off to college and living in a dorm doesn’t mean you no longer have a carbon footprint. You may not be paying the electricity or water bills, but that shouldn’t stop you from conserving your energy, water and waste. Sure you’ll be living in a room that resembles a jail cell and is probably older than you, but there are several ways to live a stylish and environmentally-conscious college life in the dorms. Here are 10 eco-friendly dorm room tips:
- What better way to go green than to have actual greenery in your room. Plants can bring a dorm room to life by adding color, natural scents and improving the air quality. Make it easy on yourself and get a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t need daily watering or sunlight to stay alive, such as a snake plant, pothos, English ivy and many others.
- Organic bedding has all the aesthetics and soft goodness of regular sheets and comforters, but is free of icky pesticides and irritating chemicals. Organic bedding can be made from natural plants and fibers, like cotton, hemp, soy silk, bamboo and other materials. You can sleep soundly knowing that you’ve gone au naturel and helped the environment.
Fluorescent Light Bulbs
- Fluorescent light bulbs are more environmentally friendly than their incandescent counterparts. Fluorescent bulbs use less energy and last 10 to 15 times longer than the average bulb, while giving off the same soft, warm light that’s perfect for studying under.
Reusable Water Bottle
- Instead of buying a 24 pack of water bottles that will probably end up in the trash can, get a reusable water bottle that is BPA-free, easy to clean and stylish for toting around campus. If your dorm room tap water is less than stellar, use the water fountain or buy a refillable water jug and chill it for an ice cold refresher.
- Surge protectors give you the convenience to plug in multiple devices at once, but they also help protect your electronics from voltage spikes. Surge protectors also allow you to control your energy use by simply hitting the off button on the control strip, which turns off all of the appliances when they aren’t being used.
- From hand soap, disinfectant to laundry detergent, all-natural cleaning products are a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based cleansers. All-natural cleansers are non-toxic, eco-friendly and safe to breathe in because they’re derived from lemons, vinegar, cornstarch, baking soda and other safe ingredients.
- Combination appliances, like a 3-in-1 microwave, refrigerator and freezer, are not only convenient space-savers, but they are also eco-friendly appliances designed to conserve electricity and reduce circuit overloads. Look for Energy Star qualified products to get the most energy efficient appliances.
- Instead of throwing away that empty Coke bottle or tossing your class notes, collect these goods in a cardboard box or another homemade container, and recycle them on campus or take them to the nearest recycling center. While you’re at it, get your dorm floor to recycle and spread the word around campus.
- Perfectly good hangers end up in landfills every day instead of being reused, donated or passed on to friends. If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly hanger, try biodegradable cardboard hangers that can be recycled or bamboo hangers that use reclaimed materials and non-toxic products.
- In keeping with your “reduce, reuse and recycle” motto, get your furniture, wall art and clothes from local thrift stores for an original look that’s all you. Shopping at thrift stores is cost-effective and eco-friendly because you are saving tons of money and reusing perfectly good items.
Reprinted with permission from Environmental Sciences a blog who has tons of great green and eco friendly informations. You might also find this article useful.