Being savvy and sustainable does not need to stop at home. Teach your budding university students to carry this mindset forth into university life - and may it long live into life after university too. Incorporating a little green-mindedness into daily student life goes a long way into helping create a more sustainable campus. Traditionally, halls of residence have been notorious for their large energy footprints. By way of being kinder to the environment, sustainable dorm buildings are big selling points for prospective university students who have a vested interest in sustainability. Every student can do their bit though, in moving towards more sustainable living whilst away at university.
To start the process, consider renting reusable crates to help with the move. These are often used hundreds of times before being recycled. This avoids unnecessary cardboard waste. An added bonus is that these crates are stackable, which helps with the transportation of your belongings.
There are plenty of ways to reap the benefits of houseplants as they are multi-purpose - they can be used as charming room decor, to help filter indoor air pollutants, and are also versatile by way of their healing properties. For instance, spider plants are excellent air purifiers and are very easy to care for. Aloe Vera, a popular succulent plant, can be used to treat burns and abrasions, or even to condition your hair and skin. Nature is a powerful force. Read more about the best houseplants in our musings.
Since each washing load can use ~40 gallons of water (Consumer Reports, 2017), be mindful to wash full loads only. In turn, invest in a drying rack to air-dry your washing, thus saving on energy while preserving the quality and longevity of your clothes - the more you wash and tumble-dry, the more wear and tear you encourage. The ultimate goal here is to cut your energy consumption by taking a more greener approach to laundry. Learn Laundry 101 here
Some electronics continue to use energy even once turned off. To combat this, you can make use of a power strip and switch off the power when devices are not being used. If shopping for dorm room mini appliances such as a mini-fridge, a microwave or a coffee-maker for instance, opt for those brands that use less energy overall. Doing a little research will go a long way in terms of cutting back on energy consumption - a worldwide goal for us all to strive for.
By choosing LED and/or compact fluorescent lightbulbs, you will use 75 percent less energy (Consumer Reports, 2013). These lightbulbs last 10 times longer than their incandescent counterparts, and produce the same amount of brightness. They are great for desk lamps and string lighting too. These are a must and a win when it comes to the frequency of replacing bulbs. As aforementioned, always remember to switch things off when you are not using them.
It goes without saying, but be mindful in opting for natural and organic food, organic bedding and bath towels. Equally, prioritize reusables over disposables when it comes to dishware, cutlery, water bottles and shopping bags. Organic, fair trade and sustainable products are those that are created with the environment, people and planet in mind. Take a stance by being mindful of your choices and opting for green over convenience.