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Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Green Dorm: College Life Goes Eco

College students across the nation will be heading off to new dorm rooms next month - and many are packing eco-friendly essentials to make their living quarters greener.  From organic cotton sheets and bamboo storage to water filtration systems and biodegradable trash bags, today's generation of college goers are doing their part to improve the planet.  
Universities Take Initiative
Colleges aren't leaving all the responsibility on their students.  The University of Pennsylvania offers energy-save light bulbs for students' lamps and lighting, while others - including Drexel University - are integrating low-flow showers and toilets into new dorm buildings.  
A number of colleges are teaming up with Design Your Dorm to make decorating and furnishing even easier.  Rather than waiting and wondering until move in day, students can log onto the website and select the layout of their dorm.  The 3-D designer allows drag-and-drop decorating to ensure a comfy room that isn't overcrowded and students can collaborate with their new roomies to coordinate decor and avoid duplicates.
Design Your Dorm also offers a convenient online store with everything from furniture and storage to electronics and cleaning supplies, including a new addition of eco-friendly dorm products.  Students can shop online, place their items into the design layout, and have their purchases shipped directly to their university in time for move in day - convenience without lifting a finger!
Green Alternatives for College Living
What are today's college students doing to minimize their environmental impact on campus?  
  • Ditch the traditional backpack for a chic reusable tote bag.
  • Save the quarters and opt for a bamboo drying rack instead.
  • Lose the plastic bottles by starting the year with a trendy aluminum water bottle and a filtering pitcher.
  • Clean up with natural cleaners - vinegar, baking soda, and citrus fruits instead of harsh and expensive chemicals.
  • Go green in class with recycled with recycled paper and eco-safe polypropylene binders.
Several stores offer an excellent and affordable line of green products and accessories geared toward college living.  Check out PBTeen, Target, and the Container Store to get started - tell us about your favorite green dorm decor in the comments!

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