The moving process has the potential to generate a lot of waste, but it can also be an opportunity to make easy sustainability lifestyle improvements. How you decide to prepare yourself for residence hall life at IUB will have an impact beyond your dorm room. By keeping in mind these green packing tips and green packing list, you’ll be able to minimize your environmental footprint (waste, carbon emissions, energy and water usage) and contribute to the greater Hoosier community in a positive way.
We've also made a shorter, PDF version of the packing guide downloadable here.
- - When purchasing items for school, ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" Buying less will save you money and space and reduce waste.
- - Replace disposable items with reusable ones: think water bottles, plates, cutlery, napkins, batteries, razors, etc.
- - Sell, donate, or give away reusable items when you move instead of throwing them away.
- Purchase items with recycled content, especially school supplies like paper and pens/pencils.
- Pack your belongings in reusable containers. Transport your clothes and other items in laundry baskets, bags, or suitcases. If you need to use cardboard boxes, break them down for recycling after the move (look for cardboard recycling dumpsters outside your residence hall) or save them at home for move-out in the spring.
- Bring durable and long-lasting reusable items to school with you: stainless steel or BPA-free plastic water bottles, cloth grocery bags, a cutlery set, a plate and bowl, cloth napkins, etc.
- Go retro: stock and decorate your dorm room with stuff from garage sales, thrift stores, or online resale forums like EBay and Craigslist. If you can make it, there is a huge community sale at IU on August 11th called HOOSIER TO HOOSIER. At last year’s sale, we sold 27 tons of gently used or new items donated by students during move-out in the spring and summer. The prices are cheap, and proceeds benefit local charities!
- Buy your textbooks used or purchase an online edition.
- Build new notebooks using recycled or salvaged paper.
- If you must purchase new items, select those with recycled content, especially school supplies like paper and pens/pencils.
- If you have disposables from your move, recycle what you can.
What to Bring
- - Power strips that protect against electricity consumption ("phantom loads" or "vampire charges") when appliances are not in use
- Bicycle, bike lock, helmet, lights (visit our IU BICYCLE PAGE for more on biking on campus)
- Reusable plates, cutlery, cloth napkins, kitchen towels, tupperware, grocery bags, etc.
- Green cleaning and laundry products free of potentially toxic and harmful chemicals
- Reusable water bottle/thermos (BPA-free)
- Drying rack for laundry
- Extra bin for in-room recycling
- Energy Star certified electronics and appliances, if needed
- An EPEAT certified, energy-efficient computer
- House plants to improve air quality in your room
- Edible plants for your windowsill
Leave at Home
- Disposable items like water bottles, paper plates, plastic cutlery, paper towels, razors, etc.
- Unnecessary electrical appliances
- Cleaning products and cosmetics that contain toxic ingredients, like synthetic frangrances and dyes, bleach, and petroleum products
- Air freshener plug-ins
This five day program before Welcome Week gives new students the opportunity to learn about, explore, and serve IU and Bloomington in the context of sustainability. Tour Bloomington’s new ecovillage, try a delicious vegan reuben from The Owlery, learn about IU’s campus gardens, and volunteer with the Hoosier-to-Hoosier sale. Explore your new town while learning how to bike safely in it. Most of all, meet new people. With Sustain-Ability, you’ll gain an invaluable familiarity with the town’s organizations, transportation options, restaurants, and people. Learn more and register on the FYE IUBeginnings site. You can also read a reflection about the program from our 2011 FYE intern here on the IUOS blog.