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With fall quickly approaching, college students are preparing to head back to campus. But before embarking on the annual back-to-school mall haul, consider other ways to stock up on supplies that will help you be eco-friendly while saving some money.

Follow these 7 easy steps for a sustainable fall semester!

  1. Marie Kondo Responsibly

As you clean your closet of old clothes, bedding, and dorm decor that no longer spark joy, consider the ways you can resell, recycle, or repurpose. You can turn sentimental shirts you don’t wear anymore into a quilt or t-shirt blanket, and that dress with the tag still on it is a great candidate for second-hand clothing stores like Plato’s Closet

  1. Reconsider Old Furniture

With a little TLC, the old couch or desk that is sitting in your basement could give your living space a cool, vintage vibe. Crafty DIYers can reupholster chairs to match their space. You can also use resale apps and websites like OfferUp, LetGo, Facebook Marketplace, or thrift stores to save useful furniture from ending up in landfills.

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  1. Check Your Inventory

Be honest: Did you really fill every notebook cover-to-cover last semester? Check your old notebooks – there’s a good chance that a few of them are more than halfway filled with empty pages. 

  1. Rent Used Textbooks

No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on textbooks they’ll only open once or twice… Check your school’s library, bookstore, or online resources like Chegg to find the textbooks you need that are available to borrow for the semester. Renting your textbooks not only saves paper, but saves money!

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  1. Bring Your Own (Reusable) Bottle

In the United States, every second of every day 1,500 plastic bottles are discarded. Aluminum water bottles are an easy alternative to stay hydrated while away at school. You’ll end up saving money by not having to buy plastic water bottles while also cutting down on the amount of single-use plastic waste you produce daily.

  1. Bring Tupperware

A great way to save money and time is to bring reusable containers when you go to the dining hall. Not only will you have some leftovers to keep in your dorm, but you will be eating food that will otherwise be thrown away at the end of the day. You can also use these containers as a bowl instead of using paper plates or plastic bags.

  1. Study “Cycle-logy”

If you are able to keep your bike on campus and have the proper storage and locks, using your wheels on campus can reduce carbon emissions while helping you stay in shape! If you can’t fit your bike at school, consider using public transportation instead of bringing your own car. 

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We hope these tips are useful as you get ready to go back to school. Share your latest DIY dorm projects or back-to-school tips with us!

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