How to Have an Eco-Friendly Dorm Life
The end of high school and the start of college or university is a major step towards independence for many young people. You have far more freedom in what you are studying and the activities you partake in between classes. For many, it means living in a campus dorm and being on your own for the first time. With that freedom comes the opportunity to have greater control on your carbon footprint and impact on the environment. This is your time to act. Even in a tiny dorm room with little money on hand, there are many steps you can take to live eco-friendly and inspire others to do the same.
The moment you move into your new space, you can start doing little actions that will add up. Be mindful of when you have water running to ensure it is only on when necessary. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, shaving, or doing anything that does not require water. Take time to unplug. Even when not in use, your laptop, phone, and other gadgets are using energy trickling into them when left plugged in. Put your phone on airplane mode whenever possible to use less energy. As you get to know your fellow students on campus, do not be nervous about discussing the environment and eco-friendly measures with them. This does not mean talking down to them or lecturing your friends, but rather encouraging discussion on a vital topic.
As you step out on campus and go about your new independent life, there are many more things you can do to make a difference. Buy yourself a couple of reusable bags and never have to worry about using wasteful plastic bags at the grocery store ever again. Go on a thrifting hunt for second-hand items for your dorm to save on money and waste. Take a close look at the ingredients of the cleaning products and household items you buy to ensure they are eco-friendly. After using your environmentally friendly laundry detergent, hang your clothes up to dry around your dorm instead of utilizing the dryer. All of these lifestyle choices have a smaller impact on the environment and your wallet.
As you continue looking for ways to have a bigger positive impact, continue talking to your roommates and friends about the climate crisis and escalating threats to our environment. All of the aforementioned tips are helpful, but a single person’s actions are not going to surmount to sufficient change up against stagnant politics and corporate greed. As others take similar measures in their dorm, consider starting an on-campus organization or club focused on eco-friendly living. Capitalize on your independence and freedom by reaching out to the community and encouraging action.
We live in a frightening time of unprecedented ecological collapse. As daunting as that is, it means people are more and more willing to discuss these issues and how to solve them. As you venture out on your own in the world, this is your chance to play your part in shaping the community around you. Take those bold first steps in living eco-friendly within the walls of your dorm. Continue doing so as you venture outside. Get the discussion going with your friends and help build a movement. These small steps towards eco-friendly living can truly add up. You will build positive habits that will have a huge impact on your dorm years and beyond.
College Basics. “How to Make Your Dorm Room more Eco-Friendly?” https://www.collegebasics.com/blog/make-dorm-room-eco-friendly/
Holbrook, Sophia. “10 Ways To Be Eco-Friendly Living In A College Dorm.” Odyssey. https://www.theodysseyonline.com/10-ways-to-be-eco-friendly-living-in-college-dorm
Moreno, Viviana. “How to Be Eco-Friendly in a Dorm with These 30 Easy Tips.” College Fashionista. https://www.collegefashionista.com/how-to-be-eco-friendly-in-a-dorm/