So, word on the street is that all of the ’08 graduates are heading off to college soon. I also have many friends that recently graduated from high school, and I have been hearing many complaints about the terror of shopping for their first dorm experience. Well, never fear! Green Girl is here.Indeed, I went through the same ordeal just a year ago. The same dilemmas of shopping lists, what to bring, what to buy, choosing color schemes (very important!), and considering which things would be shared with a future roommate. Plus, there’s the whole issue of making your room green. I’ve been there. I can help.
Below I have included a list and there may be a few things that at first may not appear necessary, but trust me, they are essential! First: a vacuum cleaner. Seriously. I didn’t think I would use one. But you really need it when you live in such a small space. Dust and hair end up piling up. It’s nasty. Second: an electric tea kettle. Great not only for tea , but also instant soup and other essential dorm foods.
So, how do you use the list so that you can succeed in making your dorm room green? Stick with me and I won’t lead you astray, I promise. It’s really quite easy. Instead of using a Nalgene or other plastic water bottle, get a stainless steel water bottle. Use surge protectors. Buy chemical-free laundry detergent. Use a laptop shield. Move your fridge out from under your bed. And please don’t use air fresheners! Make sure your bedding is all cotton. And don’t forget to make sure the energy is clean too by feng shui-ing your dorm room.
Take a good look at the list. A lot of things on it may be easy to get at a drugstore. But a lot of the things will last you longer and keep you healthier if you take the extra step and buy them green. Believe me, it’s worth it! I felt so much better, both physically and mentally, knowing that I was chemical free my freshman year. It’s an easy way to make the switch to green–a time when you are buying everything new, pretty much. Just take that list, go through it, and write in the green alternatives beside each item. Then follow through on it. If you’re looking for more alternatives, check out my other blogs. I have a take on nearly everything you could need in your room. And for more on green dorm rooms and traditional alternatives, check out this article text to be linked by my mom, the orginal green guru. It’s a lot easier than you might imagine to create and maintain a green dorm room.
Note to self: The green dorm room: easy, healthy, serene, ideal.
General Room Necessities
Desk Lamp (Try Full Spectrum Light!)
Duvet + Cover, Sheets, Pillows + Pillowcases
MATTRESS PAD (the mattresses in your average dorm room are NOT comfy)
Hangers! (Important!! Bring more than you would think)
Vacuum (YOU WILL USE IT)
Laptop + Printer
Double Sided Tape (to hang photos, etc)
Dry Erase Board
GOOD HEADPHONES (with a roommate around, you will use them A LOT)
Towels + Wash Cloths
Laundry Detergent + Quarters
Perhaps a sewing kit (it can be useful)
First Aid Kit
Rug (you will very much want one)
Pillow for your desk chair (the ones provided tend to be hard and quite uncomfortable)
A few pointers for everyone:
1. Bring at least two weeks worth of underwear. Chances are you won’t do laundry as often as you may think
2. Make sure to have a few dressier items, for such things as dances and formals
3. You will live in sweatpants. You may not believe me now, but you will in the near future. Bring more than one pair.
4. If you have a large campus, please bring shoes that you can walk in. It’s not worth the blisters.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.
By Lily Berthold-Bond