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Guest Post: How to Go Green in Your Dorm Room

With the excitement of entering your first year in college, it can be easy to forgo your green habits and become just another freshman sucking up the world’s precious resources. Stick to your environmentalist ways and employ some of these ideas to go green in your new dorm room.

Start with the basics. Use energy efficient appliances wherever possible. Light your room using LED or CFL bulbs, no matter how tempting those energy-sucking dimmer lamps tempt you. Plug all appliances that can be shut down each night into a power strip. This will not only limit the amount of power they use when turned on or plugged in, you can easily turn everything off at night with the flick of a single switch. Forgo a mini fridge if possible but since it is a handy dorm commodity, you may not want to skip it. Just make sure to buy an energy efficient model. There are tons of options available. And of course, don’t plug it into your power strip.

Part of the excitement of going to college for many freshmen is the feeling of starting anew. Enjoy that feeling, it doesn’t come often. But don’t let the “new” part convince you that you need all brand new dorm furniture, accessories, and decoration. Look on Craigslist, eBay, in thrift stores and used furniture stores to stock and decorate your dorm room. Many dorms will come with at least some furniture so consider using it instead of opting for your own furniture. You will, after all, only be in the room for a year so why not go with what comes included? Consider how many freshmen pass through the dorms and how much waste would collect if each and every student got brand new stuff each year. Especially in college towns, there are always students trying to get rid of stuff as they hop from rental to rental so there will be plenty of used stuff available if you look for it. You should be able furnish your room without even having to ship a single item across the country to you.

Literally go green in your dorm room by adding a plant or two. A couple plants in will create more oxygen flow and better air quality. That will not only lead to a more productive studying environment but also eliminate your need for toxic and wasteful air fresheners to rid your room of that special dorm funk. Plus, plants are a good way to start learning how to keep something other than yourself alive and your plants will be a perfect way to take a few minutes each day to eschew all other responsibilities while you water and care for them.

There are some areas where buying used just may not be an option. For example, a used set of sheets or towels could be a little too used for your taste. In these cases, buy items in organic and recyclable material. No matter what new products you purchase for your dorm room, make eco friendly choices as much as possible to help green up your dorm room.

If it’s time to atone for your undergraduate ways during your post-graduate work, consider enrolling in an online program to further reduce your educational carbon footprint. Your energy consumption using the Internet for school is quickly balanced by the fact that you don’t have to commute, at all, for any distance to get to school, you don’t ever have to create paper waste for homework and papers, and some online courses don’t require physical textbooks, but instead offer all materials online. With the huge selection of programs, from bachelors in every subject to master’s in business, writing, and most other subjects available, no matter what degree you’d like to pursue, it’s probably available. There’s no better time to make up for leaving your computer running 24/7 back in the dorms than attending an MHA online program.

With the thousands of other students around you making eco-unfriendly choices and that fact that you don’t directly pay your utility bills, it might seem pointless to go green in your dorm room. It’s not. Every reduction counts and you may even inspire your dorm mates to follow suit.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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