Dorm life is often associated with tight spaces, cluttered storage, and financial struggle. And for the very same reasons, many students think that it is practically impossible to adopt eco-friendly habits while in college.
On the other hand, if you are concerned about your personal carbon footprint, there is no better time than now to get started. Here are some tips to help you take on a sustainable lifestyle while living in a dorm.
1. Switch to Digital
As a student, you might be relying on a lot of paper – be it for notetaking, submitting assignments, or even when buying books. And if you haven’t already started using your digital devices for these, perhaps, that is the first thing you should do.
In fact, using your laptop or tablet for studying and note-taking might make things simpler for you. Most professors let you submit term papers via emails, and you can use platforms such as EssayPro.com to refer to writing samples. You will even be able to download textbooks at a lower price in the PDF or epub versions. And above all, you do not have to carry your books around.
2. Focus on Reusables
The first step to reduce waste is avoiding single-use items. There are some things that we use on a daily basis that could be swapped for a more durable version. Take a look below to see what changes you can make.
- Get a reusable water bottle
- Buy a multi-use coffee mug
- Use washable cotton sponges for removing makeup
- Take a cloth shopping and grocery bag when you go out
- Try reusable razors
- Use biodegradable toothbrushes
- Try zero-waste shampoos, soaps, and toiletries
What turns most people away from making the switch is the misconception that eco-friendly items cost more. However, these also tend to be long-lasting and thus saving you more money in the long run.
3. Limit Water Use
We all tend to be careless with our water usage, especially when we are contemplating while showering or brushing teeth. By simply turning off the water for a few minutes, you can help save gallons every year. Making this habit can be a big step to attaining sustainability.
Another way to save water is to do laundry only when you have a full load. On top of this, you can also use the ‘Bright Colors’ option and wash your clothes in cold water. If you have the space for it, you can also air-dry your clothes on a drying rack rather than using the dryer. This will not only save energy but also preserve the quality of your clothes.
4. Support Local Economies
This tip is important not only for when you stay in your dorm but also for environmentally conscious travel. The idea is to support the local shops and vendors rather than by choosing big corporate operators.
To help your local community, you can choose to eat and shop in shops and restaurants that are run as small businesses. You can also commute with local transport providers if you deem it safe. Some additional tips include choosing eco-friendly hotels while traveling or being mindful of the tour companies you use.
5. Invite Plants In
By bringing more plants to your space, you can not only unlock budget home decor but also use them as a natural filter for air pollutants. There are a number of houseplants that are found to be effective in cleaning indoor air.
And if you are unsure whether you will be able to commit to being a plant parent, you can try starting with succulents first. Or, you can visit the local plant shop to get suggestions on the plants that can thrive with relatively less caring.
Many are unaware that electronic devices that are plugged in drain energy even when they are not being used. Meaning it is a bad idea to charge your laptop overnight if you are not using it.
It would do a great deal of good if you could unplug the devices before you head out. This also includes unplugging power cords for coffee machines and even lights. And in effect, you will be the proud owner of the greenest room in your dorm.
7. Make Recycling a Habit
These days, most colleges have an eco-program that facilitates recycling and upcycling. Even if your institution does not have a dedicated endeavor for promoting sustainability, you are bound to have recycling bins.
While this might not be within the premises of your dorm, you will be able to find one on the campus. It is pertinent that you use these wisely to handle your trash properly. All you need to do is be conscious of how you throw your garbage away. Just separate them and place them in the correct bins when you take them out.
8. Thrift for Clothes and Decor
Yes, finally, thrifting has become trendy. So, instead of spending on fast fashion, why not try planning a thrift store hunt with your friends. No matter your gender, you will find clothes that fit your taste and style.
And if you are unable to find a store near your campus, fret not. There are plenty of websites that support second-hand clothes, so you can get them delivered to your dorm.
Thrifting can be taken to advantage not only for finding clothes but also to find electronic items or even furniture and decorative items for your dorm room. When you have this cheaper alternative, why spend money unnecessarily,
9. Make Your Own Beauty/Hygiene Products
If you have the time and space for it, you can adopt a zero-waste lifestyle by making your own shampoos, soaps, and even toothpaste. In fact, just your desk space would be sufficient for this, and with a movie playing in the background, you can do this as a useful activity during your spare time.
Not only that, these do not require as much investment as you think. For instance, you can make a scrub using sugar, lemon, and honey/olive oil. It is natural and will save your skin from harsh chemicals.
And if that isn’t the case, these days, you can find workshops where you will be able to learn new techniques and make the products to take home.
10. Walk or Bike
Although this does not technically fit into the dorm space, it is a valuable point for eco-friendly living. If you want to combine exercise with sustainability, take a bike or walk to your class whenever possible. Some campuses will even let you rent a bike, so you do not even have to buy one.
11. Coordinate With Your Roommates
Finally, if you haven’t moved in yet, it will be beneficial to coordinate planning with your roommates to avoid buying the same items. For instance, large appliances such as refrigerators or microwaves are bulky and will take up space. You can split the cost and buy just one, saving energy as well as money.
The same goes when you are purchasing snacks or other items for your dorm. The idea is to remove waste and make sure that you only buy what is necessary.
Green Living in Dorm – Conclusion
As you can see, most of these practices require very little changes in your ordinary lifestyle. By adopting a sustainable standard, you will be not only treating the planet but helping yourself by reducing the expenses.
Article Submitted By Community Writer