According to the National Retail Federation, $3.6 billion will be spent this year outfitting the college dorms of new students. The majority of the accessories and products purchased will eventually end up in the trash as students move out and move on. In order to minimize their carbon footprint on this plant, many students are opting to “go green” in their dorm room. Any student can use these tips and tricks to help save the planet.
One of the most important things for all people to do, especially college students, is to recycle. Students use an amazing amount of paper for homework, class notes, study guides and more. Rather than throwing away notebooks after they’ve been used, or tossing out old home work assignments, students should add all their paper goods to the recycling receptacles. If a dorm does not support a recycling program, contact the resident advisor or on campus housing authorities to create one. Other goods to be recycled include, cardboard, plastic cartons, glass, and aluminum and steel cans. Clothes can also be recycled by donating them to a local charity or selling them to resale shops.
Another easy way to “go green” in the dorm is to purchase organic and recycled products. Rather than buying bedding and towels that have been treated with pesticides, consider picking up these goods made out of organic or natural fibers. Also, the market of natural cleaning and personal care products has skyrocketed in the recent years. Companies are now making these products without the added chemicals that can be harmful to both humans and the planet but with the same effectiveness.
A quick fix for every dorm room is to replace all the halogen light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Halogen bulbs use much more wattage and have been known to start hazardous fires, while compact fluorescent bulbs last almost forever and use significantly less energy. Also, instead of purchasing paper plates, cups and napkins, students should buy and use metallic plates and utensils that can be easily washed and reused. Both of these options can even save money over the year spent in the dorms, as student won’t have to replace them regularly.
As mentioned above these tips and tricks are easy ways for students to “go green” while living in college dorms. Even the smallest changes and adjustments can make a big impact on the fight to save the planet.