Skip to main content

8 More Ways to Live Sustainably in College Dormitories

I posted the initial blog post on this topic (12 Tips For Living Sustainably in College Dormitories) back in April of 2018. At the time I had almost finished my 9 months of living in the dormitories. Since finishing my time living in a college dormitory and living in an apartment for almost a year, I have reflected on some more tips and ways that can help you to also live as sustainably as possible in a college dormitory.
In August of 2019 I will be starting my junior year of college as an environmental studies major with an education minor. Most of these tips and items that I will be suggesting to you are from personally lifestyle changes that I have made as someone who feels that it is a personal need to lessen my waste and live life in a sustainably conscious way.
I would like to preface this blog post by saying that going zero waste, low waste or living a sustainable life is a work in progress and takes time. With that being said I would not recommend making all of these changes at once, but slowly start integrating each lifestyle change one step at a time.
Before reading this blog post I would start by reading my initial blog post on this topic, 12 Tips For Living Sustainably in College Dormitories.
The best way to start working towards a sustainable life is to step back and look at what your are purchasing and what you are throwing away/wasting. Here is a blog post on How to Perform a Trash Audit.

Tip #1

This first tip is not just a lifestyle change that can be used while living in a college dormitory, but it is a lifestyle change that can be carried out for the rest of your life. This tip is to slowly switch over to plastic free bathroom products. To make this tip specific for college life, purchase a cloth or fabric shower caddy instead of a plastic one. Before purchasing a new shower caddy ask any friends or family who might have saved his or her's from when they lived in the dorms and ask if you could have it or purchase it from them. Reusing is a more sustainable option. You could also check out thrift stores before resorting to purchasing a new one. This Mesh Shower Caddy from Target is similar to the one I purchased when I was living in the dorms. Some other plastic free options is to switch to a bar of soap instead of body wash in a plastic bottle. At most grocery stores you can find bars of soap in minimal cardboard packing that can be recycled or even package free soap bars are sometimes an option. You can also find bars of soap at Lush. Lush sells a number of shampoo bars and solid conditioners that I highly recommend. I also love their Naked lotions. Here is a link to there package free options. When it comes to making this lifestyle change purchase the plastic free options once finishing the products you already have in plastic bottles.

Tip #2

Whats next? Decorating!!! As someone who gets easily overwhelmed, my roommate and I decided to stick with minimal decorations for the walls and our desks. A fun way to decorate your dorm room is to use thrift store decorations. Taking the time to thrift shop and find decorations isn't just a fun way to get yourself excited for college, but can also be a fun way to get to know your new roommate. At the thrift store you can find wall art and unique nicknacks to decorate your desk or dresser. By purchasing used items your stepping outside of everyday consumerism and lessening your ecological footprint. 

Tip #3

This next tip might not work for everyone because it depends on your campus and how sustainable your university is. Prior to moving in I would research to find out if your university campus offers a composting service. As I have mentioned in My Experience With Composting Weeks 1-3 my university is working with Pepsi to try out a composting program. All students have access to composting binds to put in personal food waste that is then picked up just like trash and recyclables and then send to a site to complete the process of decomposition. With that being said I would do your research to find out if your university or the city your campus is in has composting. For composting in a dorm I would pick up some glass jars with lids from the thrift store and collect your compost from the dinning hall. When it comes to composting programs in some cities they require that you have a paid subscription, so doing your research and as much as you can to learn before you start collecting your compost.

Tip #4

My fourth tip is to make group shopping outings when necessary. What I mean by this is when you absolutely need to purchase sometime find a group of friends or floor mates to go with you. Not only is this a chance to make memories, but by not driving separate cars you are decreasing your ecological footprint by carpooling and also decreasing the use of gasoline. With my roommate and my twin sister's roommate we would unintentionally do this and I didn't think of it as a sustainable action until now. We honestly made so unforgettable memories on this shopping trips.

Tip #5

Soak up the sun!! I have light colored eyes and am sensitive to light and different types of lightbulbs, so I am always using natural light and rarely turn on lights. This tip is to choose to open the blinds and use natural light to brighten up your dorm room instead of turning on the lights. 

Tip #6

This next tip goes along with the last one by utilizing natural elements while living in the dormitories. Instead of heating and cooling your dorm room with the air conditioner and heater choose to open the windows. Not only is this a sustainable option but it also makes you feel like you are outside studying instead of sitting in a dorm room. 

Tip #7

Do some borrowing, borrowing and more borrowing. While living in the dormitories my floor made an all-floor group chat and an all-girls floor group chat. These group chats were a great resource to find items that I could borrow as an alternative to going out and purchasing it new or used. All of us girls would borrow clothes, Halloween costumes, shoes, curling irons, and truly everything. Also making friends with your fellow residents helps you to have access to borrowing items that you might only need to use once to eliminate purchasing a new one and in turn reducing your waste. 

Tip #8

My last and final tip is to be conscious of the types of snacks that you are eating in between meals at the dinning hall. Instead of buying protein bars or energy bars in single use plastic, take a weekly walk to a grocery store to buy fruit like apples or bananas. Don't forget to bring your reusable grocery bag. IF you have access to bulk bins you can also purchase nuts, dried fruit, crackers and trail mix. I recommend purchasing these type of produce bags from Amazon for bulk items and fresh produce. If this isn't an option for you then a sneaky idea is to put an apple, banana or orange in your backpack when you go to the dinning hall. Talking food from my dinning halls was not allowed, but I was willing to break the rules in the name of the environment.


Popular posts from this blog

Reasonable Dorm Room Cleaning Schedule

Reasonable Dorm Room Cleaning Schedule After my first semester of college I have developed a cleaning routine that I have been able to keep up with. You can read my previous blog post about What I Learned In My First Semester of College . Over the past few months I have experimented and I am confident in the routine that I have created.  Personalize When it comes to personalizing the schedule you could add or take out the different chores. For example I also wash my retainers weekly and monthly my roommate and I decorate the marker board on the outside of our door. We also only clean our mirrors when needed since we have found that they do not seem to become too dirty regularly. Something that I would make sure you sanitize every week would be the surfaces that you are constantly touching. That means light switches, door handles, and your desk. By doing this I managed to avoid getting sick when my roommate and other floor mates go sick. Another task that you could add to y

Bullet Journal Fitness and Workout Spread Ideas

If you want to purchase some of these spreads you can buy the digital bundle from my Etsy shop: Simply Paperless .  I had created six different bullet journal fitness and workout trackers/spreads. These spreads were made in my digital bullet journal using the GoodNotes App.   I highly recommend to use a stylus when using GoodNotes as a digital bullet journal. For this project I used the Adonit Dash 3 Stylus , which I highly recommend. I also recommend the Bargain Depot Stylus 2 Pack  from Amazon. Daily Workout Plan This first spread can be used to plan out what exercises you plan to workout each day of the week. I would recommend this spread for those who are just starting to workout. I did not created the workout that is used as the example for the content of this spread. The workout is from Pintrest Workout Plan .  Workout Tracker This next tracker is in the format of a monthly calendar. In order to track the different workouts accomplished throughout

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus was Jackie's choice for the month of October. Jackie is the host of The Readheads Podcast Book Club. This is a monthly podcast book club that I have been apart of since it was established in 2020. I love getting to hear the thoughts of the hosts each month.  Content of the Book: Elizabeth Zott is a chemist but is much more than meets the eye. She is not only beautiful but also extremely smart, confident, strong, and not afraid to beat to her own drum. Elizabeth is one of the only female chemists working at Hastings Research Institute. She is viewed as different by everyone there. It's there that she meet Nobel-Prize nominated chemist Calvin Evans. Calvin who falls in love with Elizabeth is described as a loner, grudge holder, and extremely brilliant. Fast forward a few years and Elizabeth is now a single-mother working as the host of the most watched cooking show, Supper at Six . With Elizabeth's ways of