Red Foxes Go Green

How to Have an Eco Friendly Dorm

We’ve all heard about climate change -- it’s all over the news, our social media feeds and Bill Nye himself has told us it’s time to take action. So I am. 

I’m writing this for every student looking to do their part to save the planet. Although dorm life is a big change from living at home, and it may seem difficult to find ways to be environmentally friendly in this new space, there’s so much we can do. 

There are plenty of essentials everyone needs for their dorm: snacks, dishes, utensils, cleaning supplies, etc. Many of these items can be easily switched out for better and greener options. Instead of buying endless supplies of paper plates and plastic utensils, try grabbing some reusable dishes. They will last you all year! You can also use them to grab food from the dining hall and have a midnight snack in your room. Another simple switch is trading out regular trash bags for compostable ones because they biodegrade over time.

We all crave food for late-night study sessions and snacks in between classes. Buying snacks in bulk rather than individual packages reduces waste and saves you money too. Plastic water bottles are one of the most commonly found items washing up on ocean shores. Instead of stocking your mini fridge with plastic water bottles, bring a reusable one with you to class. If you are not thrilled about drinking from the tap, split the costs of a water filter with your roommate to keep plastic out of the ocean. 

Little changes make a big difference. Some actions are practically effortless, but their impact is life changing. Every dorm on campus has a place for recyclable items, so the easiest thing you can do is get a designated recycling bin for your room. When you are heading out for class, remember to switch off the light in your room. That goes for the cool LEDs up on the wall too. You can also unplug things like your desk lamp and other electronics to conserve energy while you are out and about.

We can all agree that everyone dreads laundry day. But it provides another opportunity to give some love back to the planet. Marist uses natural gas dryers that are both more efficient and use less energy than electric models. Using cold water to wash clothes is an easy way to be eco-friendly! It requires less energy, reduces your carbon footprint and keeps your favorite clothes from shrinking.

Living in a dorm also means living in the dining hall. Marist dining halls have a fantastic composting program to reduce food waste, but there are things you can do to help. Take advantage of all the options the dining hall has to offer and try eating less meat every now and then. The kitchen also offers delicious dairy-free milk and ice cream. Choosing these options helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from meat and dairy farms, and protects natural habitats from deforestation for farming land.

Small actions can make a huge difference when people work together. We all have a responsibility to take care of the planet, and by doing so we become part of the solution instead of the problem.

Lauryn StarkeComment