Monday, January 31, 2011

Eco Friendly Dorm Ideas

Dorm life isn't always practical, and that's what makes college fun. There are plenty of small changes you can make to your daily routine that will make your dorm greener.

Turn off your power strip when you go to sleep and unplug it from the wall. Most students have several appliances plugged into power strips due to the dorm room's lack of outlets. This makes it easy to save energy, since you only have to unplug one cord. Always unplug--even if something is turned off, it's still using energy.

Buy reusable dishes, cups and utensils instead of throwing away paper plates and plastic utensils every time you eat. If it's not practical for you to wash reusables in a sink, opt for biodegradable plates made of recycled material and utensils that can be placed in a recycling bin. Avoid using drinking straws, too.

Buy a water pitcher with a filter if you have your own fridge. This way, you can always have clean water available without buying plastic water bottles. The bottled water industry creates millions of tons of plastic waste while draining energy, oil and natural water sources. Using a thermos to carry water to class or the gym is an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bottle.

Find a paper-recycling bin on campus if you don't have one in your dorm. Stick all of those old fliers, magazines and newspapers in a reusable bag and empty it there every week or two--this will eliminate waste and keep your room tidy. At the end of the semester, go through all the notes and handouts you've accumulated and bring whatever you don't need to the recycling bin instead of the trash can.

Save energy--and burn calories--by taking the stairs rather than the elevator to your room. If you live on an upper floor and go in and out of your residence hall often, aim to at least cut in half the amount of times you take the elevator daily. If you live any lower than the fourth floor, the stairs should always be your first option.

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