Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mission Green Dorm: Episode 1 - Packing Guide

The Container Store (i.e. OCD heaven)

Here are the top tips I've found - coming from a soon to be college student's perspective:

  1. Use what you already have
  2. Bring a recycling bin
  3. Bring lamps that work on CFL bulbs.
  4. Avoid extra appliances like microwaves, toaster ovens, mini fridges, and air conditioning units. All I'm bringing is a small fan and an electric kettle for my tea addiction and instant coffee on those mornings that just go too quickly.
  5. Organic sheets
  6. Green cleaning supplies
  7. Smart strip pluggins
The most useful thing I've found in trying to pack green, has been reusing what we already have at home. It's insanely easy to get carried away at The Container Store (i.e. OCD heaven) or Bed Bath and Beyond, but it can be both cheaper and greener to dig up the items you already have at home. 
There really is no super special trick to green dorm room shopping - the key is less is more!

I was extremely excited to see a these green packing tips on UPenn's website!

Packing tip: GO GREEN!

When packing to move to Penn, consolidate where possible in order to eliminate extra cardboard boxes. When purchasing lightbulbs for your room, make sure they are the compact fluorescent type. Also, using a power strip with surge protector is not only energy efficient, but also helps protect your electronics against power surges. Here are some items to consider to make your room green:
  • Reusable plates, cups and utensils (Preferably not plastic)
  • Smart Strip or surge protector
  • Bring Energy Star appliances (TVs, Computer Monitors, Refrigerators, etc.) If you bring a TV, bring a flat, LCD screen. It can use 1/3 less energy than a standard, CRT television.
  • Reusable water bottle (SIGG, Nalgene, etc.)
  • Cloth Napkins
  • Power Strips (so electronics can be easily unplugged while not in use)
  • Reusable Shopping Bags (recommend three)
  • Recycled Paper
  • Organic Towels and Sheets
  • A Bedspread or Quilt from Home
  • Recycling Bins
  • Green Cleaning Supplies and Detergent
  • CFLs for Lamps or Other Fixtures
  • Green Cleaning Products
Some items that are donated to PennMOVES, our end of the year Move-Out Drive, include bed risers, ironing boards, plastic underbed and other storage. Consider using soft-sided storage made from recycled materials instead of hard plastics.

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