3 tips for sustainable dorm living

Convenience has always been the crux of college dorm living. Daily coffee runs, night after night of take out, that pile of water bottles shamelessly accumulating somewhere in your room–the list goes on. As a busy student wrapped up in all the hustle and bustle of college life, it’s easy to forget about eco-friendly options and constantly opt for what’s quickest, cheapest, and most comfortable. Here, we’ll work to reconcile convenience and sustainability with these 3 tips for dorm life:

  1. Use a reusable coffee cup and/or water bottle! This one may be both cliche and straightforward, but you’d be surprised how few students actually take up this simple piece of advice. The key is to plan ahead: fill up at the start of the day before heading out so that you’re less tempted to buy single use drink bottles throughout the day. For water, you can fill up as needed at refill stations and water fountains around campus. For coffee and tea, most cafes nowadays both allow and encourage bringing in your own reusable cup or mug instead of buying single-use paper and plastic cups to help reduce waste.
  1. Decorate your room with plants! Plants act as both cute and functional decor–not only do they add some much needed green to your space (by boosting your mood and reducing stress), but they act as a natural air purifier by filtering out pollutants to keep your room fresh. Plus, watching them grow throughout the semester can be so rewarding, allowing us to live our plant-parent dreams to the fullest.
  1. Opt for natural lighting during the day! Despite rainy Rochester’s reputation for gloomy weather, there are plenty of days when you can totally take advantage of the incoming sunlight simply by opening your blinds and letting the sun do its magic. By not turning your lights on, you not only save energy, but you very well may increase your productivity. After hours of cooped up studying, us students could really use a bit more sun, anyway.


Photo by Daria on Unsplash

Written by Carole Wilay (‘25)