How to Make your Dorm Room Green

Environmental sustainability has been a hot topic around the country—and around the world—for the past several years. It is no surprise, then, that many colleges have made their campuses more environmentally friendly. “Going green” is becoming more common every day in colleges around the country, and many students have begun to take steps on their own to reduce their college’s carbon footprint.

If you’re ready to join the environmental sustainability movement, you may be wondering how to make your dorm room green. There are many ways to do this, but you can start with these:

Turn off your air conditioning

Air conditioners can use a very large amount of energy, especially if left on when no one is in the room. Replace your window air conditioner with a fan or two, and you’ll stay comfortably cool without using nearly as much energy.

If you absolutely must have an air conditioner, find one that is as energy-efficient as possible, and only use it when it’s absolutely needed. Turn it off when no one’s in your dorm or apartment, and turn it down at night.

Use energy-efficient light bulbs

You’re going to be up late studying. A lot. So you’ll probably be getting a lot of use out of your desk lamp. You can buy bulbs that use significantly less energy and will last a lot longer, saving you cash in the long run. Some of them last so long that you’ll probably be able to get away with only one or two for the whole year.

As with air conditioning, use them only when necessary–if you can open your blinds and study without turning on a lamp, go for it. It’ll make you feel less like you’re studying in jail anyway.

Reduce waste by buying used

This is a great way to not only make your dorm room green, but also to save money.

  • Buying used books is much cheaper than buying new.
  • Used furniture is also significantly cheaper, and if you get it in the same city as your college, you won’t have to transport it from home.

This may not seem like a big deal, but if everyone decreases their carbon footprint by a little bit, we can make a big difference. It’s cliché, but it’s true.

Reduce waste by buying reusable

Similar to the above recommendation, reusable items can make go a long way in making your dorm room green.

  • Instead of buying water in plastic bottles, trying buying a stainless steel water bottle to fill with filtered tap water (you can buy a Brita or similar filter just about anywhere).
  • Instead of carrying food in sandwich bags that you’ll throw away, use reusable plastic containers like Tupperware.

By thinking in this manner, you can greatly reduce the amount of waste that you generate.

There are many other ways to make your dorm room green—get creative with your ideas and start a trend at your school. We can all make a difference!


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