In the age of Greta Thunberg, nothing is a more timely and important topic than going green. However, putting the planet first isn’t always easy, especially in a college dorm. These are a few easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Ditch The K-cups
One of the most devastating causes of pollution on earth is that of single-use plastic. While many of us may have already ditched the plastic water bottles for reusable ones, there is probably another source of single-use plastic that you’re using almost everyday: K-cups. Obviously, regulation coffee pots are not allowed in college dorms, only single cup coffee makers. This may make it seem like disposable K-cups are your only option, but that simply isn’t true. One of the most eco-friendly and inexpensive products that you could ever buy is a reusable K-cup converter, which allows you to put your favorite ground coffee into a K-pod machine. This product is reusable, and if you’re a major coffee lover, think of all the plastic waste you’ll be reducing. You can buy a pack of reusable K-cup filters for only $5 on amazon here.
Use reusable everything! Use reusable cups, water bottles, straws, shopping bags, and anything else you can think of! That empty hair mask jar? Rinse it out and store your hair ties in it! You can even make your beauty-routine green by purchasing reusable cotton round and make-up removing cloths (which I have personally tried and highly recommend). These can take make-up off so with only water, which saves you money on make-up removing products. They can also be used to apply face products like toner. I actually find that I prefer these to regular cotton rounds! You can get a pack of 16 for $10 here.
Make Your Own Coffee
Remember those reusable k-pods I mentioned? Those only work if you actually make your own coffee! However, there are other benefits to making your coffee at home. Getting a drink at Starbucks or Dunkin’ results in a ton of single use cups and plastic straws! Plus, if you go somewhere off-campus, chances are that you’re using gas (and therefore releasing carbon emissions into our atmosphere) to get there. So save your money by staying at home in your comfy PJs and making your own coffee! (And if you HAVE to go to Starbucks, try going to one in walking distance, and bringing your own reusable cup and straw!)
Save Energy on Heat
The winter months here in Poughkeepsie may be absolutely freezing, but that doesn’t mean that you have to crank the heat up to 100%! Turning up the heat so high takes a lot of energy that is usually provided through the burning of fossil fuels. Instead, put on some warm layers and cozy under a blanket. If you’re still cold, you can put the heat on, but don’t crank it to the max. If you’re really brave, you can also try showering in cold water. Again, it takes energy to heat that water up, so by showering in cold water you’re preventing the burning of fossil fuels. If you can’t handle making your entire shower cold, just rinse your conditioner out with cold water at the end. Not only is this great for the planet, but it will seal moisture into hair to help prevent dryness and frizziness. It’s a win-win!
Only Do a Full Load of Laundry
While it might be tempting to just wash your one favorite party top that you wore the night before, try to find another ensemble for tonight’s events. Washing machines will automatically fill up with the same amount of water, regardless of how many articles of clothing you’re actually washing. By only doing your laundry when you have a full load, you’re not only saving water, but you’re saving laundry detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener, and TIME! Enjoy a few extra ZZzzzs by only doing your a full load of wash, and in the meantime, you can experiment with some other pieces in your wardrobe that you might have forgotten about!