College move-in day can be stressful, but it’s also an opportunity to start a new chapter in your life. Without a doubt, it’s always best to do it with a focus on sustainability.
From single-use plastics to excessive packaging, such a simple activity can have a significant environmental impact. However, there are ways to prevent it. Follow the tips below to learn how to pack sustainably and have a productive day moving in!
Reuse and Repurpose
Before you buy new items, see what you already have that you can bring with you to college. This could include things like towels, bed sheets, and storage containers. Depending on where your college is situated, make a smart choice of the things you take with you. If your college is near to your home, gather as many useful items as you can.
But if you are far away, it can take some time to decide what you really need. Plus, it’s easier to fall into the temptation of buying everything new. And you should have a chance to settle down in a new place. Here’s a hint: you can outsource some academic tasks and ask a professional to write my essay for me while you’re adjusting to this new life chapter. Once you take that weight off your shoulders, you’ll be able to do other things on the list.
Buying less of new things, especially those that contain plastic and other contaminating materials, will greatly benefit the planet.
But what if you get bored of the old ones or just need to shop for the necessary items? Here are some ways around it:
- Exchange your old things with your other friends who are starting college. These items that are in good condition but boring to your eye could make someone else excited and refreshed. In return, they could give you theirs, and that would be a sustainable exchange. You won’t need to buy everything new!
- Go thrift shopping to hunt for new home decorations. It’s fun searching for stuff there, and you can always find something amazing at the lowest price possible. Besides, thrift shopping is a great way to help the Earth.
- Redecorate or paint some of the items you are tired of. It can also be a fun, creative activity to do alone or with family. There are tons of tutorials and inspiration online, on TikTok and Pinterest.
Avoid Single-Use Items
When packing, try to avoid single-use items, such as disposable containers and paper plates. Instead, bring reusable containers and a durable set of dishes.
Bring your own reusable cutlery and crockery instead of relying on disposable plastic ones. This will not only reduce waste but also help save money.
Stay hydrated on move-in day by bringing your refillable water bottle. In fact, always bring your water bottle with you instead of buying plastic bottles throughout the day. This will reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles and thus your carbon footprint.
Choose Eco-Friendly Products
Cleaning is a part of every moving trip, so be careful what products you use: choose eco-friendly and non-toxic ones. You can find many natural cleaning products at supermarkets or make your own with simple household ingredients.
When purchasing new items, look for products made from sustainable materials. Read the label carefully and avoid ingredients like ammonia, chlorine bleach, and petroleum-based products. Instead, look for lemon, tea tree oil, and other plant-based ingredients.
Also, when picking cleaning items, look for third-party certifications like the EcoLogo, Green Seal, and USDA organic seal. These certifications indicate that the product has been tested and meets specific environmental and health standards.
Above all, make a packing list. It will help you stay organized and prevent you from forgetting anything. It can also help you avoid overpacking and end up with less waste in the trash bin. Opt for reusable bags and containers and minimize the use of plastic wrap.
Instead of single-use plastic packaging, look for eco-friendly alternatives like recycled boxes or reusable totes. You can even ask local shops, restaurants, and supermarkets for their discarded cardboard boxes, and they could give you them for free. For packing fragile items, consider using blankets or towels instead of bubble wrap or foam packaging.
Choose Sustainable Delivery
If your college isn’t far away, you can use public transportation like the bus or train to move your belongings. If you need to rent a truck or use a moving company, choose the one that uses eco-friendly vehicles or has a sustainability policy.
Eco-friendly cars produce lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions than traditional cars. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide contribute to climate change, so if you choose this option, you could reduce emissions to help mitigate its impact on the environment.
Donate the Items You Don’t Need
Before leaving for college, don’t throw unwanted clothing or house items in the trash. Take your time to make someone happier while saving the environment. Pack and donate the items you no longer need to a local charity or even the thrift store we talked about earlier.
Declutter your belongings, and set aside any items that you haven’t been using for a year or two. There are always people who need these things but can’t afford them. You can also sell or give away superfluous items via online marketplaces or social media platforms.
Starting college and moving to the dorm can be exciting, but you can unintentionally generate a lot of waste. It’s better to form sustainable habits now to get used to them afterward when you get older.
Follow the tips mentioned above to reduce your environmental impact while still having all the essentials you need for college life. Remember, minor changes add up, and every little bit helps create a more sustainable future.