How to Create a Green College Dorm Room

Creating a green college dorm room involves much awareness and planning that in the long run impacts the environment tremendously. Going green is a colorful way to describe reducing one’s carbon footprint and saving greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide). These gases overabsorb heat and lead to global warming, creating the greenhouse effect. College students can create a green dorm room as a proactive effort to save planet Earth by using the following energy-efficient ideas.

1. Lighting the dorm room with fluorescent light bulbs and solar-powered lamps.

Having a lifespan of four years, fluorescent light bulbs greatly reduce energy consumption by emitting a cooler light than incandescent bulbs. An example is the GE Energy Smart (60-watt equivalent) Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb sold at the sale price of $4 at Target. In addition, solar-powered lamps consume 70% less energy and have four times the lifespan of incandescent bulbs. An example of a solar-powered lamp is Ikea’s Sunnan Led Work Lamp sold for $19.99 on the website For every one of these purchases, a solar lamp is donated to UNICEF for Pakistani homeless children living without electricity in the aftermath of Pakistan’s huge earthquake in October 2008.

2. Using battery-run and solar-powered alarm clocks and radios.

Many affordable clock radios are battery operated, which saves energy. Then there are solar-powered radios such as the Kaito KA-500 Voyager Solar and Crank Radio with Cell Phone Charger sold for $59.95 on the website Its features include AM/FM stations, seven weather stations, a cell phone charger, and a USB port for charging ipods and mp3 players. Also, having the ability to run eight months with no direct sunlight, the Gold Solar Powered Alarm Clock sold on has met such great demand that it has sold out at $26.99.

3. Using laptops in place of desktops.

With the convenience of owning a personal computer in college, laptops are the way to go. According to Ecos Consulting, using the best laptop that consumes 100 kWh/yr saves five times as much energy than using a desktop with a 17 Cathode Rade Tube (CRT) Monitor that consumes 570 kWh/yr. This organization also illustrated on their website that replacing 25% of desktops with CRT monitors in the US with the best laptops amounts to a savings of 20 billion kWh of energy per year and 13 million tons of CO2 per year, which equals $1.6 billion/year.

4. Decorating cardboard boxes with cloth to use in place of plastic crates.

Recycling used cardboard boxes by turning them into storage containers and decorating them with cloth is an earth-friendly alternative to buying plastic crates for storage. If a student was to dispose of a cracked plastic crate, it would emit methane and carbon dioxide while it was decaying on a landfill which contributes to global warming.

5. Furnishing one’s dorm room with recycling containers.

Small recycling bins can be used in a dorm room for both plastic and paper. Examples include empty plastic drink bottles and paper snack food wraps or containers. Also, students can put a recycled paper holder on a desk to put unwanted printouts to use as scratch paper.

6. Filling one’s desk and shelves with used textbooks and recycled paper tablets.

What easier way to go green is there than reusing textbooks and recycling paper? Every time a student purchases a used textbook, he or she is saving trees and energy that is used to create a textbook as well as reducing ink that contributes to air pollution.

So there college students have it. With these energy-efficient ideas in mind, college students are on their way to creating green dorm rooms. The major go green concepts include reusing, recycling, and using alternative energy-efficient power sources such as solar power. What better way to spread the word to go green than by living it and inspiring others who see a student’s green dorm room.


Foster, Suzanne and Chris Calwell. Laptop Computers: How Much Energy Do They Use and How Much Can We Save? Ecos Consulting.

Shea, Beth. Solar-Powered Lamp Sheds Light on Kids Lacking Electricity. Inhabitat.

Solar Powered Radios and Crank Radios. 21st Century Goods.