If you aren't used to communal living, you won't find the dorm room as convenient as you hoped it would be. If you're committed to living green, you will have even more difficulties to adapt the new environment to your standards, but that doesn't mean it's an impossible mission.
There are many ways to continue living an environmentally-friendly life at college, and we will tell you how to start.
Dorm-friendly tips to go green
1. Don't haul furniture from home. Buy it locally! You will save a lot of gas if you buy furniture locally, and you know that every action you take is important for the air.
2. Don't get disposable furniture. It's much smarter to invest more in better furniture and use it on the long run.
3. Recycled paper is Earth's friend. Whether it is printer paper, toilet paper or paper towels you need, always choose recycled materials. Many trees will be grateful for your effort.
4. Nurture a plant! You cannot make a dorm room look like home if you don't get a plant that will make it feel homey, but will also clean the indoor air.
5. Get sheets of organic cotton. Natural fibers like bamboo and organic cotton feel luxuriously soft, but they also don't require pesticides to be produced and are very durable.
6. Get towels, rugs and blankets of natural fibers. They may be a larger initial investment, but they sure are environmentally-friendly.
7. Use Freecycle. When you need something for your room, you may get it for free or at a really low cost at Freecycle.org.
8. Don't forget resale stores. You'll not only save money at resale stores, but you'll also save a significant amount of pollution.
9. Think long-term. When shopping for furniture and other items, you should get something that will serve you after you move out of the dorm, so you'll save money and resources.
10. Avoid heavy packaging, which is a mess to deal with after you unpack your item and it's utterly wasteful.
11. Check the fridge's chill factor. Your fridge will use less energy over time if you regularly check its thermostat and keep it out of the sun.
12. Use a power strip to turn off all energy vampires, such as the chargers for your computers and phones.
13. Get compact fluorescent bulbs and get rid of all halogen and incandescent lights in your dorm room.
14. Look for the Energy Star mark when buying a microwave or mini fridge for your dorm room.
15. Get reusable shopping bags. Use plastic bags as rarely as possible, and invest in nice reusable bags instead.
16. Use reusable plates and silverware. There's nothing worse than disposable plates and cups.
17. Don't buy individually-packaged snacks. They are not only unhealthy, but they also oppose your determination to go green.
18. Don't buy water in plastic bottles. A reusable, filtered pitcher will save you a lot of money and you'll avoid wasting tons of plastic.
19. Appreciate the small dorm room, because it will help you waste less.
20. Spread your cause. Get other students interested in your philosophy and make a campaign out of it.
21. Share everything with your roommates. That will help you save a lot of materials and space.
22. Ditch the plastic flip flops for showering and go for all-natural materials as a replacement.
23. Shorten your showering time. That way you will save loads of electricity and water.
24. Don't use cleaning chemicals and clean the dorm room with natural products instead.
25. Never leave the lights on when you're out of the room, even if it's for a short time.
Conclusion: going green is cool!
Going to college doesn't mean that everything in your life has to change. If you are concerned about our environment, you can continue your efforts in this new phase of your life. Going green in your dorm room will not only be useful for our planet, but will also make you much cooler in the eyes of your new friends.