Moving Into College Dorms Sustainably

Every year, incoming college freshmen end up buying way too much stuff for their dorms only to throw most of it out at the end of the next semester. With more and more people wanting to live sustainably, here are a few things that you can do to ensure you move into the dorms in a more eco-friendly way!

  1. 1. Only bring the necessities at first.

    As an incoming freshman, it’s tempting to go on a shopping spree for all those cute dorm decorations advertised online (trust me, I understand). However, the easiest way to be more eco-friendly when moving into your dorm is to simply not go overboard with buying things. My suggestion? Only bring the necessities when you first move in. This can also help you gauge how much space you actually have in your dorm room. There will be plenty of time to buy more things later if you need them! For CU students specifically, I recommend checking out this Her Campus article for Boulder-specific necessities you should consider bringing.

  2. 2. Reuse items you already have at home.

    Sign at a climate change protest

    When I was packing for college last semester, I realized that most of the things on my checklist were things that I already had at home. Items like bath towels, water bottles, and basic school supplies (leftover from high school) are all things that I already owned and didn’t make sense for me to buy again. Who knows? Maybe you have more items at home than you might think. I suggest before going out and buying anything for your dorm, double-check around your house to see if you can get away with bringing things you already have.

  3. 3. Bring reusable items.

    green ceramic mug on wooden desk

    Reusable items are a must if you want to live a more sustainable dorm life in the long term. Here is my mini-list of basic items to consider having:

    - Water bottle and cup/mug

    - Reusable shopping bags

    - Simple utensil set

    - Cloth napkins

    - Dry erase board

  4. 4. Incorporate sustainable living practices throughout the semester.

    glass bottles in Reusable bag

    I’m not saying you have to completely go waste-free, but as you go forward in the semester, be mindful of your carbon footprint. Remember: reduce, reuse, recycle! If you do want to take it a step further, almost all college campuses offer a wide variety of clubs and activities dedicated to educating students about being more eco-friendly--consider joining one!

I hope that after reading this article, you realize that there are so many simple ways to ensure that you move into the dorms sustainably. Every little decision you make to reduce your carbon footprint makes a huge difference in the long run!