Generally, when one thinks of converting their living space into an eco-friendly sanctuary, they think of solar paneling and installing energy efficient control and cooling systems. While those costly modifications are ideal for an established home owner, what can a broke college student who is forced to live in a tiny dorm room for the next four years do to help sustain the planet? Tons actually. To learn some simple ways to create a green dorm continue reading below. And the best part? No heavy spending required.
Bedding and Linens
One of the easiest ways to create an eco-conscious dorm room is to purchase organic sheets, comforters and bed spreads. Unlike normal bedding, organic sheets are made with pure cotton and other natural fibers like hemp, bamboo, jute, ramie, and soy silk—and of course they are not processed with toxic chemicals. As a bonus, organic bedding is 100 percent hypoallergenic, so severe allergy suffers can really reap the health benefits.
Often times dorm rooms are too small to add massive pieces of furniture, but they usually do have room for small bed side tables. If you are looking to add some furniture, skip large corporate department stores and head straight to the resale shop. Shopping at consignment shops like the Goodwill, and shuffling through items at yard sales and vintage stores might be tedious, but it’s well worth it—not only will you be saving a tree, but it’s also a cheaper alternative to purchasing new furniture. As an added bonus, you’ll probably walk out with a piece of furniture that is completely one-of-a-kind.
If you plan on adding some extra lamps so that you have better lightening for all that late-night studying, make sure that all of the light bulbs are compact fluorescent bulbs or LED. These low-energy light bulbs also outlast traditional light bulbs, which mean fewer trips to the store and more money that is kept in your pocket. However, always remember to use as much natural lightening during the day if possible.
If you are looking to bring in some color into your dull room, a great way to do this is to add some decorative desk and floor plants. Plants won’t only make your dorm room look more festive, but also create a better breathing environment. This is because plants work to remove the pollutants and toxins that float around in the air. If you’re the type who doesn’t do well with tending to plants, simply get some low-maintenance plant life that requires very little attention. Some good options are a Ponytail Palm, Cactus, Aloe Vera and a Dwarf Lemon Tree.
Lastly, it’s highly recommended to invest in a good power strip cord in order to conserve energy. While students may turn off the main source of light in the room, many are unaware that even if an appliance is turned off, if it remains in an outlet it is still using energy. That means, if your cell phone charger, computer and microwave ovens is plugged in the wall, you are still wasting energy even if they are not in use. An easy way to “unplug” all of these appliances at once is to plug all of the major appliances into a strip chord and then unplug the strip chord whenever you leave the room. It will easily take out the hassle out of unplugging everything individually. Of course you’ll want to make sure that certain appliances, like the mini fridge, are plugged-in at all times.
Also be cautious of the way you use your printer. Change the setting to “double-side” print to conserve paper, do your very best to buy used textbooks or e-versions, and do your own recycling.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.