Every year, many enterprising young men and women set out for college. This often means living in a dorm. Luckily, getting your dorm room to be green has never been easier. All it takes is a little effort, a little creativity and a few tips and tricks from EnviroCitizen.org.
Many college students want an "away from home" experience. However, they must be careful that they don’t end up having items shipped in from home and everywhere else on a regular basis. Instead, it is wiser to look for what is needed locally or store items away until the next term. Many schools have a program for students that helps take care of this.
While you are trying to go local, instead of buying brand new items from a major retailer, try looking on sites that offer secondhand goods. It will save money and create a truly unique room. Better yet, look for free, used stuff. Check out Freecycle or your local classified ads to see if there are any items like beds, desks or lamps that you can get for free. If you choose to stay during the summer semester, your university may have a day that coordinates furniture recycling or exchange. You can also just look around and see what other dorm mates want to get rid of to lighten their loads if they are moving out.
One of the most eco-friendly things you can do as a student is to give up air conditioning. It really isn’t needed as much as you think. As you may well know, most of the time spent living on campus is not in the dorms. Many universities make it really easy for you to be green already by banning air conditioner (AC) units in dorms to save the energy costs. That doesn't stop some sly students from sneaking them in. The trouble is, after groups of students sneak something in, it all adds up. This means the potential for hundreds of thousands of energy-sucking AC units. Instead of AC, why not try opening a window, using a fan, taking a cooler shower before bed or just be outside. Of course, if you have to have AC for allergies or some other reason, be sure to get an Energy Star certified, low-energy unit if you absolutely cannot go without one.
Linens for your new room will make up the bulk of the rest of your buying. When you look for sheets, curtains or towels, go for organic cotton if possible. It's still the same material, but you'll rest easy knowing it's grown without pesticides. There has been research which may show that organic cotton could even last longer.
Using these tips from EnviroCitizen.org, you can live well and live very green while in college. Your efforts are helping to make a huge difference in helping the planet and also will save money so you can budget for more necessary college expenditures.