dorm life is actually fairly sustainable. there is little space so the footprint of each individual is small, most food is from cafeterias so it is packaged in bulk, and heating is usually done centrally without too much excess. Energy is the real problem in dorm rooms. By reducing the electronics in the room and making sure that rechargeable batteries are used when ever possible college students are well ahead of the game. There are some general paradigms of the college student that can be changed. for example, you could buy him a stainless steel wate bottle to discourage plastic use, or natural fiber bedding instead of poly-blends.
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Keep it local- buy anything and everything local instead of getting it shipped and use a local storage unit instead of hauling stuff back and forth. Instead of buying everything new, check out thrift shops, Freecycle, eBay Local, and Craigslist. Ditch the air conditioner and be sure to get an energy star fridge (they are major power drainers). Some other tips include: unplug any electronic not in use, buy reusable utensils, bowls, and cups (preferable not plastic), buy organic sheets, buy recycled office supplies, and use energy efficient light bulbs and lamps.
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