Dorm rooms have one thing in common – size. Most dormitory rooms are small and not so spacious, unlike your own room back home or your own space in the condo or apartment. Hence, decorating dorm rooms green would entail careful planning and meticulous choices to come up with a harmonious and warm ambiance without sacrificing eco-friendliness and budget. If you’re as excited in turning your dorm room green as going to your first class in the university, here are the best ways on how to do it:
Make use of the stuffs that are still functional. Bring some unused furniture and mattresses from your home and make use of these in your dorm room. After all, you wouldn’t be going back home anytime soon, and, if in case you do, you won’t probably stay long enough to miss your old nook since you’ve already moved it to your new dorm room. While we truly understand that you are so into having a cool room, buying new stuffs for it isn’t the greenest thing to do since it can end up with a lot of waste. Apart from that, it can cost a lot of bucks. Re-using what you currently have lets you save tons of money and may leave you with enough amounts to purchase for school supplies. On the one hand, you can always take a visit to local thrift shops. They sell slightly used and vintage items that never fail to look unique and cool. Sites like eBay and Craigslist have all these stuffs to choose from.
Opt out international shipments as much as you can. Save more money and help reduce carbon footprint by buying locally. International shipments also entail more taxes and bigger shipment fees. Apart from that, damages or lose of item can occur while it is on transit, which can be a problem.
Minimize Energy Consumption as Much as Possible
As much as possible, avoid having an air conditioning system in your dorm room as it can really suck tons of energy in the university. Check the number of appliances and gadgets that you have. A regular student most likely has a laptop or a tablet, one or two mobile phones, speakers, and a fan. Some can bring blender or juicer, electric fan, hair dryer, styling iron, and hot iron, too. Imagine how many students are staying in the university and bringing all these stuffs with them and imagine how much energy the school has to bear to power all these stuffs at a time and add that to the energy that an AC could suck. There are ways to cool down your body other than having an AC. You could take a bath before bedtime or use an electric fan instead. Some dorms also allow mini refrigerators, which is another energy sucker.
Have New, Working Appliances
Let’s say you have allergies and you need your room to be cool all the time and your medicines need to be put in the fridge, too. In other words, you can’t literally live without a fridge and an AC. Okay, you can have your AC and your refrigerator, but use one that is new and in excellent working condition, specifically on your refrigerator. An old refrigerator sucks energy 3 times more than a brand new model and one that is Energy Star certified as these are greener options. Speaking of Energy Star certified you could also find laptops and tablets that have energy-saving features, too, if you are in need of a new one. There are also monitors powered by LED lights, which is another great way to conserve electricity.
Let LED Illuminate your Dorm Room
If you have not heard the increasing popularity of LED lighting systems, you must not have been doing your homework of being eco-friendly. LED lights are far more energy efficient than the cheap alternatives likes incandescent. 80% of its energy is used up to light while the rest is to emit heat and it isn’t hot to the touch, too, so it minimizes the risks of one getting burned. Aside from that, it is lasting and easy to maintain. Although they’re range to the expensive side, its benefits actually outweigh its cons, so it’s worth the tag.
Bet on Organic Stuff
Wherever we turn to, chemicals are apparently around us these days. Free yourself from the dangers of these chemicals by using organic stuffs in your dorm room. Fabric from organic cotton are your best bets for your sheets while wooden stands and tables and wooden chairs are your best picks for simple yet presentable furniture. IKEA and Target have a long list of plush, yet eco-friendly fixtures that are budget-friendly. Walmart is also focusing on green products only and they have an aplenty of choices when it comes to home and office supplies, which you might find useful. While these choices are quite expensive, you’ll thank yourself for splurging them because they’re clean and green.
Splurge on Combos
And I am not talking about food. I am talking about combo appliances like the oven/microwave/toaster combo. This may be quite expensive than the toaster or the oven standalone, but you can actually get good savings if you buy a combo because it’s collectively priced. Aside from that, most renowned brands offer combo appliances with energy saving features, which is a big plus for staying green in your new dorm room.
List before Shopping
What makes this tip green? Listing all the things that you need to buy before heading to the grocery or thrift store saves you a lot of time and money because you get more focused to your needs. Even moms running to the groceries know what a shopping list can do to them and to their pocket.
While it is quite exciting to run to the department or thrift store to buy anything that you need for new dorm room, it is always, always a good imperative to do research before making the actual work. Research on where you can find local thrift shops, garage/yard sales, and other cheap alternatives. Having good research saves you time and effort in dorm room shopping. Researching also means asking suggestions from friends in the area that may have already have knowledge about yard sales and the likes.
I couldn’t remember the exact name of the show in ABC, but its main concept was to challenge a group of interior designers to design a room based on a given them and a given budget. They work in pairs and they need quick thinking to come up with a design based on the instructions in a given time frame. One time, a pair won a certain challenge when they decorated a room with used newspapers being crumpled and glued on the wall. The effect was extremely cool and unique and it was also soft to touch. Inviting your friends to help you plan and decorate your green dorm room is a great way to bond and reduce stress that could have all been settled on your shoulders if not for their aid. They might also have slightly used stuffs that they might give to you, making you save tons of money from the activity.