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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mt Holyoke chapter.

I’ve been trying to be more sustainable and since I wrote my last article on small changes we can make to be more sustainable, I have realized that living in a dorm room will have its own challenges and opportunities to being sustainable. So, here is a list of ways in which we can still be sustainable while living in a dorm.


Bára Buri via Unsplash

Reusable Face Mask:

I think it goes without saying that face masks have quickly become an essential item. Using reusable face masks, which are made out of cloth and can be washed, is a more sustainable choice and helps reduce the waste created from disposable masks. 

Wood or Metal Hangers:

Hangers are essential in most dorm closets and making a decision to have wooden or metal hangers over the plastic alternative is a step most of us can take to be a little kinder to our earth and reduce our plastic use.

Bamboo Toothbrush and Hairbrush:

 Using bamboo toothbrushes and hairbrushes is sustainable because bamboo is a recyclable and compostable material.

Biodegradable Phone Cover:

A lot of companies and stores now sell biodegradable phone covers and AirPod cases. These are great and may be one of the ways you choose to be more sustainable. Casetify has a few options of these on their website

Metal or Glass Water Bottle and Straws:

Having your own water bottle is important to stay hydrated and using one made out of metal or glass is a great alternative to using plastic water bottles. Metal and glass straws are also great for when you want to have a drink (like an iced coffee) and are easy to carry around in your bag too! These reduce waste created from disposable plastic straws. 

Cloth Napkins and Hand Towels:

A lot of dorm bathrooms have paper towel dispensers. These create loads of waste and an easy way for you to help reduce this is to carry your own cloth towel with you that you can use to dry your hands instead of a paper towel. 

Buying Secondhand Textbooks:

Buying textbooks and required reading materials secondhand is a great way to not only be more sustainable but also is great for your budget! 

Running Less Frequent Loads of Laundry:

I know this may not be possible for everyone all the time, but running fewer laundry loads is a way you can help reduce the carbon footprint and impact running a load of laundry has on the environment. That’s why running bigger and less frequent loads of laundry is more sustainable. 


assorted clothes in wooden hangers
Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

While these are just some suggestions I have, there are many more ways we can all become more sustainable. Apps like Good On You help you identify whether the shop you’re buying clothes from is ethical or not and to what extent. This app may be a way for you to identify where you want to shop from and has helped me in the past. All the above are suggestions and my own opinions from personal experience. I hope they help you! 


If you would like to write for Her Campus Mount Holyoke, or if you have any questions or comments for us, please email hc.mtholyoke@hercampus.com.    


Imaane Patel

Mt Holyoke '24

Hi! I'm Imaane, a freshman at Mount Holyoke College. I enjoy photography, listening to music and binge watching tv shows amongst other things.
Mount Holyoke College is a gender-inclusive, historically women's college in South Hadley, MA.