While the heat of summer weans, for many, the thought of school just around the corner hammers our nerves and sense of freedom even more. So, why not make the most of it? Look forward to the new year of classes. Now add to that a hint of green thinking, and it might just be the best school year ever!
Let’s focus our sustainable minds on the products college students need. To make sure life in the dorms is as comfortable and efficient as possible, there are a few key areas to address: technology, clothing and school supplies.
Unlike the school days on campus that your parents reminiscent over (perhaps way too frequently for your taste), today’s supplies include some high-tech gear. While laptop computers, MP3 players and digital readers are energy sinks, they do offer some sustainable benefits. Most notably, these products are eco-friendly in that their existence makes other products unnecessary.
One can take an endless amount of notes in class, thus limiting the necessity for notebooks. The fewer notebooks used, the fewer trees cut down. And, if you want to take it one step further, read how to find the most energy-efficient laptops
. The same goes for MP3 players: One of these puppies means you don’t need to buy CDs (if anyone even does that anymore). No CDs, no plastic discs, no packaging, no paper booklets. And, lastly, one Kindle
requires a lot less material than a library of books — textbooks, novels or otherwise.
Along with a new grade level, every person needs some new stitches for the year — it’s the American way. That being said, think about how much you might really need
that new hat or belt that you’ll wear… oh, maybe three times. One of most common “green” challenges these days is making something new with something old — by altering some of your least favorite clothing into a new, fashion-forward and not-so-harmful-to-the-earth style. And hey, if you mess up then you just have a new set of rags to wash your car with on the first day back to campus.
However, if you’re like most people, you’ll end up purchasing at least a few new pieces. When doing so, look for clothing that comes from sustainable materials like bamboo or hemp. Again, unlike our parent’s generation, today’s clothing made from such natural materials can actually look stylish and most importantly not be so itchy. Companies like Project 571
offer “college-supporting organic clothing that is trendy, fashionable, fair and earth friendly.” This way you can be proud of your school and be green!
Today’s university bookstores offer a much wider selection of products than the simple notebooks and binders of yesteryear. Think spiral notebook with post-consumer recycled paper, pens that utilize soy-based ink and planners that combine both green-thinking practices. The pen-and-paper medium is quickly becoming obsolete, but in the interim, those supplies we still find necessary can be as sustainable as possible.