The college years are notoriously famous for being highly demanding, especially since it is likely the first time that students are on their own. While being responsible for handling finances and managing tough schedules, one might be thinking that adopting a sustainable lifestyle is nearly impossible.
However, in spite of what you might imagine, there are plenty of ways for you to pull off sustainable dorm living. Here are some things you can do and some you can take to get started.
What to Buy
One of the main reasons why students think twice before choosing a sustainable lifestyle is the monetary investment. In fact, they might be thinking, ‘how can I pay someone to write my research paper if I spend too much money on eco-friendliness?’. However, the truth is that you cannot compromise on your academics to live in a greener manner. Thankfully, there are several platforms today that offer educational services at a low cost, so all your needs can be met by staying well within your budget. And even after that, you will be able to set aside a small amount to invest in these items, which can help you save money in the long run. We suggest that you consider buying the following items to add to your eco-friendly lifestyle.
A Surge Protector
We are used to leaving devices and appliances plugged in. But even when the switches are turned off, the devices can draw a lot of energy. A surge protector comes with a switch that you can use to cut off the flow of power from multiple outlets. This way, you can save a significant amount of energy, especially when you are not using any.
Buy CFLs or LEDs
As soon as you move into the dorm, you might also want to check on the type of lights installed. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, a CFL or LED can help you save between 25 to 80% energy. Not only that, these also last several times longer.
Reusable Water Bottle
You might be thinking this is one of the essential items you will be buying. However, you might be surprised to know how many students still resort to filtered water bottles and throw them away after a single use. It is not only enough that you buy a reusable bottle, but also make it a point that you carry it around so you can use it to refill.
A Drying Rack
Why do you need one when you can just put your laundry in a dryer? Well, it saves tons of energy and even some money. While at it, make sure that you do full loads of laundry. Each load takes up 40 gallons of water. So it would be best if you took the most advantage of it.
A Tote Bag
You can always ask for paper bags when you go shopping. But the better alternative would be to buy a couple of shopping bags made of a durable fabric and keep one with you at all times. This will help you avoid paying for a bag every time you make a purchase and also contribute a little towards sustainability.
What to Do?
Switch to Thrifting
We know that being in college might make you feel like you need to switch your entire wardrobe. At least for some people. But instead of going for new clothes, why not look into second-hand shops? It’s not even that hard to find some very interesting, cheap, and unique pieces. While at it, clothes are not the only thing you can find in thrift shops. Furniture, books, and even appliances can be found on a good deal if you look for it.
Plants are not only for making your dorm room look like a Pinterest image but having them in your congested room can help clear any odor from cooking, dirty laundry, sneakers and add more freshness. It can also improve the air quality if you choose the right indoor variety. Moreover, instead of plugging in a room freshener or using a spray, plants can help you take a greener approach. And if not, even potpourri might be a better option.
Avoid Water Waste
Yes, this is perhaps one of the most important rules of leading a sustainable life. Make sure that you turn the water off when you are not using it, check all the faucets for dripping, take shorter showers, and try to stick with cold water in the mornings. The last one might be tough, but it will help you wake up quickly.
Take Advantage of Natural Lighting
Living in a dorm room means that you have to make the best of what’s offered. In most cases, your room can be lit up with natural light if you simply move the furniture around. It is best to keep your study desk close to a window so that you do not have to rely on artificial lighting all the time. Also, make sure that there are no large items blocking the radiators. You might also want to make your room more energy-efficient by picking the right curtains and closing them at night for insulation.
Be it books, clothes, or even shoes, if you have stuff that you do not use, you might as well donate it to someone who will appreciate it more. You do not always have to donate in terms of dollars. You can even try recycling your used pieces of electronic equipment this way, such as mobiles or computers.
As much as switching to a sustainable lifestyle might seem like a huge undertaking, it is not entirely impossible. However, we agree that having the right roommate can make a huge difference. If you want to take one more step, check with your campus authorities to see what green measures they have implemented and how you can contribute towards it. Regardless, know that every step can make a difference, no matter how small it is.