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Living Sustainably On Campus

Before You Arrive

Green Packing

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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 here.

  • Reduce

    Pack light!! Buying less will save you money and space and reduce waste. When purchasing items for school, ask yourself, "Do I really need this?"

    Replace disposable items with reusable ones: think water bottles, plates, cutlery, napkins, batteries, razors, etc. This will lighten your load.

    Sell, donate, or give away reusable items when you move instead of throwing them away, so you can reduce the amount of items you own every time you move

  • Reuse

    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. There is a huge community sale at IU on August 20, 2016 called HOOSIER TO HOOSIER that sells 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!

    Save money and buy your textbooks used or purchase an online edition.

    Build new notebooks using recycled or salvaged paper.

  • Recycle

    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. Every floor in every residence hall has a plastics and a paper recycling bin.

  • What to Bring
    • LED (light emitting diodes) or CFL (compact fluorescent) light bulbs for auxillary lighting
    • 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).  Bloomington is ranked second in the nation according to the U.S. Census for the most people who walk or bike to work!
    • Reusable plates, cutlery, cloth napkins, kitchen towels, tupperware, grocery bags, etc.
    • Green cleaning and laundry products free of potentially toxic and harmful chemicals. This will help keep Bloomington's water safe and clean.
    • Reeusable water bottle/thermos (BPA-free) to keep you hydrated at classes
    • Drying rack for laundry that cannot be machine-dried. This could save you $1 or more every time you do laundry.
    • Plastic trash can or bin for in-room recycling
    • Energy Star certified appliances (TV, coffeemaker, mini-fridge, microwave)
    • House plantsto improve air quality in your room
    • Edible plants or herbs for your windowsill to add a little extra flavor to your midnight snack of mac and cheese
  • Leave at Home
    • Disposable items like water bottles, paper plates, plastic cutlery, paper towels, razors, etc.
    • Automobiles. The Campus Bus and Bloomington Transit provide excellent transportation on campus and to the sights of Bloomington as well.
    • Laptops. UITS provides printing facilities so there is no need for a personal printer.
    • Unnecessary electrical appliances
    • Printers (UITS and the campus libraries provide printing facilities so there is no need for a personal printer.) 
    • Incandescent light bulbs
    • Fabric softener
    • Cleaning products and cosmetics that contain toxic ingredients, like synthetic frangrances and dyes, bleach, and petroleum products
    • Air freshener plug-ins. Lemon, water and baking soda make a fresh natural air-freshener spray for half the cost.