Every year students all across the country make the big move to college. This move is often the first chance to live away from home. Setting up a dorm is no small task, especially for the first semester. It is important to make your dorm room a comfortable place to study, sleep and hang out. Why not make your room into a more earth-friendly place by making conscious decisions? All it takes is a little creativity, effort, and a few tips and tricks.
Use reusable packing materials. Transport clothes and other items in laundry baskets, bags and suitcases. Be sure to recycle any boxes you used for moving.
2. Electronics and Appliances
Dorm rooms are usually stuffed with all types of electronics and appliances: Computers, printers, TVs, DVD players, sound systems, alarm clocks, mini fridges, microwaves and more. Talk to your roommate about who brings what so you aren’t doubling up. When buying electronics or appliances look for higher ENERGY-STAR-Certified ratings. ENERGY-STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that rates electronics and the amount of energy that they use to help consumers purchase items that do not use excess amounts of electricity. Be sure to turn off all electronics when not in use. Also, plugging electronics into power strips is a great solution to easily turn off multiple electronics at once. Choose electronics that serve multiple purposes, such as an alarm clock that’s also a speaker and charger for an iPod or iPhone. A laptop with a large screen that can act as not only a computer but a TV and DVD player, too.
Most dorm rooms come furnished, but can often be lacking key pieces such as chairs or bookshelves. If possible, look for second-hand or recycled products made from sustainable processes and materials. The typical particleboard furniture found in dorms can contain formaldehyde and other chemicals that can offgas and pollute indoor air so steer clear of them when you can.
Replace standard incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bubs or LED lights, which consume less energy and last longer than standard bulbs, as well as giving off better light to allow for the better studying.
5. Air Quality
Improve air quality in the dormand add some appeal by having a green plant or two. The plants help to absorb unwanted airborne gases and brighten up your surroundings. A trip to your local nursery can help you pick out a plant that will thrive indoors in low-light conditions.
6. Bed and Bedding
It is essential for students to have a good night’s sleep to help keep the brain fresh and ready to learn. To make a good night’s sleep possible, be sure to have a comfortable and natural mattress and bedding that doesn’t offgas toxic chemicals. We offer several economical options of organic mattresses, including the Midori – one of our classic mattresses – available in Twin XL, which fits most form beds.
MSRP (mattress only): twin $1495• twin XL $1595• full $1895 • queen $2195 • king $3095
Foundation sold separately
If you can’t change out your mattress, invest in a Mattress Barrier Cover, which encases the entire mattress to protect from bed bugs and dust mites, reducing allergens.
OMI Mattress Barrier Covers starting at $220
Bedding is just as important as a mattress, since it needs to be comfortable and made without the use of chemicals. Pick soft and luxurious organic cotton sheets and all season wool comforters. You can choose a duvet made with color grown cotton to add some color but make sure it is organic.
OMI Eco-Wool™ Comforter starting at $475
Click HERE for more information on OMI mattresses and bedding.
Many students want to make their dorm rooms comfortable and homey. Rather than buying all new decorations, choose items from your bedroom at home and revamp them to better fit the dorm. Use material from a favorite shirt or old curtains to cover corkboards, creating an area to hang pictures, notes and other items and add color. Coordinate with roommates to get complimentary organic duvet covers and cover you thrifted loveseat with matching sheets.
Find more tips and useful ideas by going to Teens Turning Green’s ‘Project Green Dorm’ website HERE. Enter their challenge for a chance to win OMI products as well as many other fabulous and green prizes!