How to be green in the dorms

Graphic by Spencer Light | The Broadside (Contact:

By Katya Agatucci | The Broadside (Contact:

College students, especially those living in campus housing, can easily reduce their carbon footprint in a few easy steps.

Bend takes pride in their local stores, cafes, and grocery stores. If you are a student moving to Bend, there are many resources around town to find all of your dorm room essentials locally. Local resale shops like Regroup, Cosa Cura, and Teen Challenge Thrift Store all can provide your furnishing needs at a low price.

USA Today reported that looking over how many energy-sucking devices you might need before going to shop or pack can help to be more green in your living space. More often than not, students will be able to share their devices and appliances.

Also, when it comes to appliances, try to find cost-effective and green alternatives. To make your coffee in the morning, consider purchasing an electric kettle rather than using a microwave for coffee, or buy a small desk fan rather than an air conditioner once the weather gets warm. Look out for the blue “ENERGY STAR” label when buying appliances and electronics. This label indicates that the product uses less energy than other brands.

A good habit to start is remembering to turn off all lights before heading to class and all other devices that do not need to be on.

Like yourself, your devices need to shut down and get some rest every once in awhile. Selecting the power saving settings on your laptop or computer and dim your screen brightness settings to save the battery in your computer and reduce the amount of time that your devices are plugged in and charging.

If you don’t have immediate resources to be green in your own living space, speak up about your campus’ sustainability. See if your living facility has LED lights, cost-efficient washers and dryers, and windows and doors that are well-sealed.

According to USA today, there are several schools that participate in committing to being green.

Colorado State University has a curriculum that is very focused on sustainability with 963 of their over 2,600 courses offered related to sustainability.

Stanford University started a Stanford Energy Staten and Innovation project that turned into a long term project called the “Energy and Climate Action” plan that is centered on efficiency standards for new buildings and the increase of efficiency in their existing buildings.

If you speak up, change your habits, and start caring about cost efficient ways of living, you can start to reduce your impact on the world. ■


  1. Thank you for your timely article. I enjoyed it. I recently started a little Instagram shop called Want_Better_Bend for Bend residents for this very purpose- to be green, sustainable, and to highlight the use of American-made clothing that still has a great amount of life in them. I try to find items that are in-style, unisex and versatile. All pieces are extremely affordable because I have no overhead (perfect for that student budget). I’ve been trying to find a way to get the word out to students (I work at COCC part-time as a reference librarian) when I saw your timely article! Since I work at COCC, I can deliver to students for free. See, fewer carbon footprints!


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