Moving away for college and into a dorm away from your family for the most prolonged period of time you have ever experienced can be nerve-wracking. You no longer have your daily routine at home and you may be wondering what you can do to be sustainable and eco-friendly while living in the tiny boxes we call dorms.

Well, that’s what I am here for, here is what I did during my first year of college to protect the earth!

Dorm Room Sustainability

One of my favorite parts of preparing for college was dorm shopping. I made sure during this time to keep sustainability in mind.

I bought reusable food storage, utensils, a metal water bottle, and straws, an eco-friendly step up from the one-time use of plastic that most students gravitate towards. On the topic of dishes, I bought a bamboo scrub brush and soap bar with a metal container, which lasts longer than your normal dish soap and sponge!

For my bathroom, there's my bamboo toothbrush and lLush toothpaste/mouthwash tabs, and shampoo and conditioner bars. My bamboo toothbrush is easily biodegradable within 5-6 months compared to plastic toothbrushes that take 500 years!

The shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste/mouthwash tabs can all be found at Lush and other stores. They're not packaged in plastic, and they also taste and smell amazing. It's a win for you, and a win for the environment!

I only mentioned a few things about how to keep your dorm sustainable, but there are plenty more. My favorite way to learn about sustainable products is by reading articles, but there are many ways. Searching for ideas on Instagram or TikTok is a great way to find new ideas as well. Keep an eye out for good ones that you would want to add to your college routine!

Classroom Sustainability

I know I have talked about dorm sustainability, but I want also to give you a few ideas on how to be classroom sustainable.

Most students assume they need to bring a notebook for every class. I have found a few ways to be environmentally friendly while still having access to all my papers and notes. I use a tablet and tablet pencil to take and store my notes, most students will make a big electronic investment for college and this is the way to go. The tablet allows me to write, store notes and even share them with my classmates, reducing my need for physical paper!

Another way to cut back on physical paper-use is by buying the electronic versions of your textbooks instead of the physical copies, Mcgraw Hill does an amazing job at providing you with electronic versions of your textbooks that go right along with your homework.

My final classroom sustainability tip would be to scan the paper handouts that you get in class and upload them to your tablet or computer, then recycle your paper copies. This is a repeatable process that can last for years and stores your notes all in one place giving you easy access. It also makes it easy to keep all your important information in one spot instead of risking them all disappearing when you need them most. 

I hope everyone has a great and sustainable school year!