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Eco-Dorm Room: Easy Greening

Eco-Dorm Room: Easy Greening

One last loving thing we can do as parents is to send our children off to college with the makings of a green dorm room, replete with natural air freshener (as an alluring substitute
if the roommate wants to use a plug-in), natural fiber bedding (it is cheap at Target),
and a myriad of other examples of choosing the most eco-friendly (and human-friendly) furnishings.

Here is how my daughter and I chose green (and economical) during a grueling six-hour shopping trip:

Old Paradigm: Plastic water bottles.
Easy Greening: Tabletop filter; pretty stainless steel water bottle (find these online or at stores such as Whole Foods).

Old Paradigm: Plastic electric kettle.
Easy Greening: Stainless steel electric kettle.

Old Paradigm: Air freshener plug-ins.
Easy Greening: Natural air freshener using essential oils (or better yet, clean up the mess causing the odors).

Old Paradigm: Scented candles made of paraffin and synthetic fragrance.
Easy Greening: Beeswax candles (these are natural air cleaners in their own right).

Old Paradigm: Permanent press sheets made with polyester blend.
Easy Greening: Natural fiber, preferably organic.

Old Paradigm: Synthetic pillows.
Easy Greening: Pillow made with natural materials.

Old Paradigm: Polyester-filled comforter.
Easy Greening: Organic wool or organic cotton-filled duvet; wool or cotton blankets.
Note: Buying a comforter like this is the big-ticket item, but it will last a lifetime.

Old Paradigm: Scented laundry detergent.
Easy Greening: “Free and Clear” laundry detergent .

Old Paradigm: Fabric softener.
Easy Greening: No fabric softener unless from a respected green brand such as Seventh Generation or Ecover.

Old Paradigm: No education about energy use with laundry.
Easy Greening: Give them 12 Laundry Tips for Maximum Energy Saving.

Old Paradigm: Plugs everywhere, no easy way to turn off electronics.
Easy Greening: Take a power strip to attach all the sundry electronics and easily turn them all off to reduce phantom loads (electronic devices that keep running clocks etc., even when the power switch is turned off).

Old Paradigm: Lamps that use only incandescent light bulbs.
Easy Greening: Buy lamps that can accommodate compact fluorescents; switch existing lights in the dorm room to compact fluorescents.

Old Paradigm: Halogens.
Easy Greening: Compact fluorescents (halogens can be a fire hazard).

Old Paradigm: Not paying attention to the fields that electronics give off.
Easy Greening: To avoid electromagnetic fields make sure that all transformers, such as the little black boxes, and digital alarm clocks and other electronic equipment is at least 6 feet from the sleeping area.

Old Paradigm: Bug sprays with DEET.
Easy Greening: Herbal alternatives found in health food stores.

Old Paradigm: Not reading labels on personal care products.
Easy Greening: Many body care products contain ingredients that can disrupt hormones and cause reproductive harm. Find safe brands and companies from
this list.

Old Paradigm: Lindane-based shampoos for head lice.
Easy Greening: Use a natural alternative to lindane for head lice and scabies, if they become a problem. (Lindane was banned by the EPA for agricultural crops in August 2006, but use as a shampoo is regulated by the FDA and lindane has not yet been banned for this use.)

Old Paradigm: Sodas with aspartame/Nutrasweet.
Easy Greening: Drinks with natural flavors.

Old Paradigm: Fragrance in body-care products.
Easy Greening: Naturally-scented or unscented products instead.

Old Paradigm: Regular coffee.

Easy Greening: Organic, fair trade coffee.

Old Paradigm: no plants
Easy Greening: Top 10 house (dorm room) plants for cleaner air.

Old Paradigm: Nothing
Easy Greening: Salt lamps. Crystalline salt is a natural air ionizer that boosts the negative ions in the air; an environment rich in negative ions has a wonderfully positive effect on your physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual health.

Old Paradigm No attention to chi energy.
Easy Greening: <a href=”” Best Feng Shui Your Desk; Feng Shui Your Bedroom; and you can always give the hint by offering How Clutter Affects You

Old Paradigm: Paper plates and plastic utensils.
Easy Greening: Cheap metal kitchen ware, including bowls and plates.

Old Paradigm: Toxic all-purpose cleaner.
Easy Greening: All-purpose cleaner from a respected green company such as Seventh Generation of Ecover.

Old Paradigm: Junk microwave food.
Easy Greening: Whole food snacks.

Read more: Family, Bed & Bath, Eco-friendly tips, Green Home Decor, Smart Shopping, , ,

By Annie B. Bond

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
5:59AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012


8:55AM PDT on May 23, 2012

interesting, thanks

12:23AM PDT on May 14, 2012

Thanks for this article.

11:45AM PDT on Oct 4, 2011


5:42AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

After reading this information, even though konteyner we have already dealt with
getting rid of most the plastic in our lives. Yet, I just thought about
something else. The fact that we have children giving birth to children.
These kabin cemicials mess with a young girls hormone and they become
physically a adult with hormones racing out of control and what does it
do to prefabrik villa our young boys.

4:19AM PST on Mar 3, 2011

Thanks for the article.

1:20AM PST on Feb 21, 2011

thank you admin


2:34AM PST on Jan 31, 2011

Thank you for sharing admin


1:42AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

Thank you for telling this topic in detail

5:28PM PST on Feb 23, 2010

thanks! Very insteresting info

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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