Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Planning for an Eco-Friendly Move-in

It's hard to believe, but it's getting to be that time of year again.  With residence halls and campus apartments opening in less than a month, it's time to start planning the big move as well as what to bring to make your new room the best it can be.  While you're at it, here are a few ways to make the transition easier on the environment!

  • Consider skipping the mini-fridge (there is a community fridge on each floor!)  If you can't live without one, make sure to find one with a high Energy Star rating.
  • Coordinate with your roommate to find items to share.  This can work well for things like printers. 
  • Ditch the air freshener and go for a plant that actually cleans the air.  Peace lily, mums, and gerbera daisies are all easy to care for plants that also excel at improving air quality.  Air fresheners often fail to remove contaminants, add toxic chemicals, and mask odors that indicate unhealthy housing conditions.
  • Consider purchasing organic linens - they can actually be affordable!
  • CFL light bulbs - compact fluorescent light bulbs are more cost-effective than their incandescent rivals, and you won't have to change them out for a long, long time.
  • Reusable plates, cups, silverware - They're durable, take up less space, and don't generate waste.  A reusable coffee mug and a canteen for water are two must-haves.
  • Power strip - Plug your electronics into a power strip and turn it off when not using them.  Those cell-phone chargers, printers, and DVD players all draw energy when plugged in, even if they are not being used!
  • Looking for that great piece of furniture?  Why not save some money as well as some space in our landfills, and find a gem on websites like craigslist.org and freecycle.org.  In fact, SPU classifieds usually has some great finds! 

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