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Go Green in Your College Dorm

When it comes to preparing for college, it often feels as though you have an infinite number of details to consider. From what course of study you’ll choose to the shower caddie you’ll purchase, there is much to decide. However, when sorting out these particulars, it’s important to be conscious of how your choices, activities and actions affect the environment. To that end, we’ve assembled some tips to show you how easy it is to maintain a green lifestyle within the comfort of your dorm.

Conserve Your Energy

It’s so easy to be an energy hog. Between computers, phone chargers, mini fridges, etc., you’ll be relying on a lot of electronics and appliances in your dorm. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, it’s important to be mindful of your use. Shut down your laptop when you’re finished, unplug your charger, turn off the lights in the room when you leave (hint: you can even extend this practice to common areas) and buy items with a high energy star rating. You’ll be surprised at how much energy you conserve by following these simple rules.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Food containers, beverage bottles, mounds of papers – you’ll be shocked at how quickly junk and debris can accumulate in your room. Instead of haphazardly dumping everything in the trash, make sure you recycle when applicable and appropriate. In fact, most dorms have a system already in place. If you live in a building that doesn’t, think about starting an initiative.

Purchase a Plant

Let’s be honest with each other for a minute. We all know that sometimes our rooms can start to smell a little funky. Instead of running to the drug store and purchasing an air freshener, contemplate getting a plant. A much greener alternative, it will help purify the air in your room. And as an added bonus, it can also serve as a nice decorative touch!

Buy Better Bulbs

Your dorm room, at least in theory, is a place where you’ll work and study. Lighting is therefore a necessity. However, instead of using a regular incandescent bulb, try to find LED lights or a compact fluorescent light bulb. Both kinds expend less energy and last longer, cutting down on cost and waste in the process.

Go Organic

Sure, you need to buy bedding and toiletries. After all, your roommates might object if you stop using shampoo or toothpaste. However, before you make any hasty purchases, think about getting natural, organic items. Though they might cost a little more, they will be healthier for you and the environment.

Shop Locally

Of course your dorm room will need some additional furnishings and/or decorative flourishes. Instead of shipping that chest or hauling that recliner a long distance, think about shopping at a store in your college town. You’ll save on a lot of gas and cut down on the environmental impact. To that end, you should also aim to purchase items you can use throughout your four years. Try and avoid pieces you’ll just throw out at the end of the term.

We all need to be more cognizant of how our actions affect the environment. By following these simple tips, you can easily begin making a difference. And maybe, seeing you as an example, your roommates and hall-mates might follow suit!


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Don Munce