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Eco-Friendly Dorm Room Tips

Throughout my time in college eco-friendly living and awareness has become far more popular and practiced, but there are still many habits that I witness which are not eco-friendly and even more expensive than the green alternative. There are many simple steps in order to make your dorm room a green living space, all while keeping more green in your pocket. These include:

  • Recycle! This one goes without saying but recycling seems to be overlooked in many college dorm rooms. Many college campuses have trash rooms with separate bins for recycling. If it is easier to separate before you bring your trash/recycling to the trash room, get a separate bin that is clearly marked for your room to make it easier.
  • Buy re-usable dishes, silverware and cups! While paper plates and plastic utensils/cups might be convenient to throw away when done eating, buying re-usable dishes and utensils is a green alternative and much cheaper.
  • Turn off all lights and buy power strips! I still cringe when I think back to my teen years with my mom nagging me to turn my light off when not in my room, but now I appreciate the advice. This is the simplest way to reduce wasting energy. Power strips can easily be turned off and reduce phantom power loss.
  • Don’t buy plastic water bottles! This is another way to both be more eco-friendly and save a lot of cash. Large packs of individual water bottles may be more convenient, buy buying a filter and a reusable water bottle will save money and is better for the environment. If you have to use plastic bottles, remember to recycle!
  • Share appliances with roommates! One year, I lived in a suite with five other girls and everyone brought their own fridge. My roommate and I ended up sharing a fridge in order to save space and waste less energy. We had plenty of room for our food, even when sharing. Same goes for microwaves (we quickly learned six microwaves was not necessary). Before moving in, coordinate appliances with your roommate. You might even save money if you choose to buy one together! It’s as easy as communicating.
  • Use paper decorations! I know from experience, tastes change a lot from freshman to senior year. Instead of buying decorations that you will quickly outgrow and just throw away, consider buying paper decorations. At least if you outgrow them, they can easily be recycled!


Green living in a dorm room is extremely simple with very little extra effort! It also saves cash, something students are always lacking. This is the perfect time to practice eco-friendly habits that you can take with you after college. Many colleges also have greener living programs to participate in, so it’s even possible to be green while getting involved.