Green Your Dorm

Go natural

  • Raise shades to let the sunshine in and save energy by switching off overhead lights
  • Use high-efficiency LED lightbulbs
  • Considering that around 1/3 of your life is spent asleep, opt for organic bedding, which uses materials such as cotton and bamboo grown without pesticides
  • During warmer months, if possible, open windows instead of using a fan
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals whenever possible, such as air freshener, to create healthier indoor air quality.
  • Keep your space smelling fresh without the chemicals. Stop odor at its source: clean regularly, keep food in airtight containers, and refrigerate perishables. Leaving an open box of baking soda in strategic locations can also help neutralize odors.
  • Taking a DIY approach can help you cut down on packaging and chemicals. Try making your own air freshener by adding a few drops of essential oil to water in a reusable spray bottle.

Power down

  • Take advantage of power management settings on your computer
  • If you have a personal printer, set it to double sided default
  • Reduce “phantom load” by unplugging electronics when not in use
  • Invest in a Smart Strip power strip to further reduce phantom load
  • Invest in a solar-powered charger for small items such as cell phones
  • Switch off the lights when you leave your room
  • If you need to purchase a small appliance such as a mini-fridge, choose an Energy Star–rated option

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

  • Stock your room with reusable cups, plates, utensils, and cloth napkins; get in the habit of bringing a portable set with you for when you eat on the go
  • Bring a reusable mug and you may receive a discount at coffee shops on campus
  • Encourage your dorm-mates to recycle. Request more recycling bins, if you need them
  • Ditch plastic water bottles and carry a reusable one
  • Donate office equipment so it can be repurposed or properly recycled
  • Before throwing away items, consider whether someone else could use it
  • When you’re ready for a new look, check out websites like Freecycle and Facebook groups called “Buy Nothing” or “Everything Free” or Goodwill before heading to a store and help us achieve Zero Waste

Purchase Sustainably

  • Choose cleaning and laundry products carefully to avoid phosphates, which pollute waters and harm ecosystems, and petrochemicals, which are made from petroleum or carbon. White vinegar, water, baking soda, and lemon juice are some versatile, low-cost natural cleaning options.