This is a guest post by Jakob Barry of Networx.com.
Moving out of the dorms is an interesting time because so many students are vacating them on or around the same day. Hundreds, if not thousands of undergraduates and grad students are in transition looking for parking spaces, lifting items from point A to point B, and filling dumpsters with whatever they’re not willing or interested in taking home.
When all is said and done the environmental impact of the situation can be enormous but if everyone tries to do their part and be a little more green-minded the damage can be limited.
That being the case consider the following suggestions for a greener end to the academic year:
Chances are when the days begin winding down students will initiate the moving out process by starting to pack. Some green packing tips include:
- Reuse the same bags belongings were brought in.
- If boxes are needed don’t buy new ones. Instead seek out used boxes from local businesses.
- In place of foam peanuts use clothing and crumple up newspapers and magazines to protect breakables.
- If the plan is to return in the fall try storing as much as possible in the area so there’s less to haul back and forth. When there’s less to carry it may be possible to save on gasoline and take public transportation.
While packing it’s very likely students will downsize and discard a number of things they accumulated over the semester like text books, furnishings, and clothing. Before putting them out on the street where they may get ruined or taken away by the local waste removal system try some of these solutions:
- Textbooks: Unless they won’t be used again they can sometimes be resold to their suppliers, local bookstores, or students. Otherwise toss them in the recycling bin.
- Furnishings: Some students may have bought a few extra things for the dorm like a rug, lamp, or recliner to give it a personal touch. If they aren’t interested in keeping them resell or give away to friends who will put them to good use.
- Clothing: Sometimes extra clothing accumulates and when it’s time to pack up students realize they’ll never wear some of the new additions. Either hold a clothing swap with other students or donate everything to local institutions who help the needy.
After everything has been sorted through the last thing to take care of is clearing up trash and leaving the dorm room somewhat respectable. Green tips:
Cleansers: Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies which are less damaging to the environment when poured down the drain. Alternatively making your own from vinegar or baking soda is another option.
Recycle: Feel good about where you put your trash and recycle all your paper, tin, glass, and plastic refuse.
Finally, before leaving make a list of everything that was used over the course of the year and which things had precedence over others. That way when it’s time to move back in the late summer you can quickly toss together your belongings on a minimalist level and live a little lighter.
Also, plan for next year by considering areas where you could lead a more sustainable lifestyle at school. It may mean purchasing a few reusable water bottles, cutlery, or mugs but it will give you a head start on greening the coming school year.
Jakob Barry is a green living journalist for Networx.com. Networx.com helps homeowners save time, money and frustration by connecting them with home improvement professionals. From plumbers and roofers to <a href=”http://tile.networx.com/”>tile contractors</a>, Networx simplifies the process of locating a reliable professional.
CATEGORIES: Waste Reduction