When cleaning your space, try to use natural cleaners as often as possible. By mixing distilled white vinegar and water together, you can clean almost anything, including microwaves and stained plastic food containers; this mixture even removes odors in mini-fridges.
When furnishing your new space, try to consider used, thrifted or vintage options instead of new things from Ikea and Target. It will reduce waste by preventing old things from getting thrown away.
If you are buying or using appliances, try to purchase energy efficient models like the Energy Star-rated mini-fridge. Use compact fluorescent lights instead of halogen or incandescent. This switch will reduce your use of power within the dorms.
Having a water filter in your mini-fridge instead of cases of water bottles will help save money and keep plastic out of landfills. Plastic water bottles, from the “unbreakable,” to the one-time-use, are known to have Bisphenol A (BPA), a potentially harmful chemical. Using BPA-free water bottles will save on waste while keeping you hydrated.
Utilize the farmer’s market on campus for produce and goods outside of your meal plan. You’re saving gas by purchasing things on campus. Buying local benefits the community by reducing the amount of gas and energy used to ship products and keeps money in the local economy. The farmer’s market is every Thursday on the east side of the Gordon Field House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
While living in the dorms, be mindful of your water usage. Taking shorter showers, turning the faucet off while you brush your teeth, and reporting leaks in the bathroom will help conserve water. It will get you into a good habit for when you have to start paying your own water bill.
Instead of buying artificial air fresheners to cover up your roommate’s odor, think about getting a few houseplants to naturally freshen the space. English Ivy, Bamboo Palm, and Mother-in-Law’s Tongue are three options that will help purify the air and add life to a dorm room.