A Greener Dorm Move Out

Now for something completely new… the Eco-Reps Blog has its very own guest post! Jakob Barry from Networx.com wrote this post about how to move out of a residence hall in a more eco-friendly fashion, just in time for the end of the year. When moving out, remember that Dickinson recycles all glass, metal, paper, cardboard, and plastics #1-7 in single-stream recycling bins, meaning there is no need to sort your recycling.

Dickinson is also now utilizing Campus Wall. Here, students, faculty, and staff can sell or exchange goods, such as textbooks, clothing, and furniture (among other things). Only people with an @dickinson.edu email address are able to access Dickinson’s Campus Wall, meaning it is a safer, faster, and easier alternative to other websites. Check it out!

Check out Campus Wall!

And here is our guest blog post!


A Greener Dorm Move Out – Jakob Barry

In some ways moving out of the dorms can create bigger issues for the environment than moving in. That’s because rather than setting things up, it’s a process of taking apart – and in many cases discarding – belongings.


When thousands of students are doing this simultaneously the waste levels involved can be huge.

That’s why in order to make the process more eco-friendly, it’s important for students to consider some of the ways they can impact their setting less when moving out.

Let’s start with textbooks. Chances are there are a few of these that students might keep because of interest, or to use as a reference down the road. On the other hand it’s likely there are a number of others that will never be opened again. They served their purpose, and with the semester over there’s no need to hold on to them.

Green solutions: These could be sold back to distributors or to students needing them the following year. Don’t discount the fact that even if they are being discontinued at your school the subject may be common enough that schools in nearby districts such as Philadelphia may want them. If none of these pan out the recycling bin is a proper final resting place.

Students sometimes add a few extra pieces of furniture to a dorm room to give it their own personal feel. The problem is when it’s time to move out, they often have no means of transporting these items back home or aren’t interested in them anymore. Putting them out with the trash is wasteful because even if the hope is for someone to pick them up, the trash truck may get there first.

Green solutions: Storing them along with other belongings that may be needed the following year is one option. Another is selling them via social media sites or listing them as free, but you’ll need to do so early so that there’s enough time before move out day to settle offers. Alternatively, if there are enough students with furnishings a collective yard sale could be scheduled before school is out and anything left would be donated to Goodwill.

Although moving into the dorms is somewhat like moving into an apartment, chances are the average student doesn’t bring all their belongings with them from home. Nevertheless, some students – like those studying art or photography – may have extra supplies and equipment to haul away requiring more than just a suitcase.


Green solutions: In place of buying boxes, start collecting them from around campus or local businesses. When packing, instead of purchasing extra materials for protecting breakables, utilize clothing or repurpose newspaper and magazines by crumpling them up to keep things intact.

Dorm rooms can get quite filthy over the course of a few months, but not every dorm administration requires students to clean them thoroughly prior to vacating. Still, there is something about wiping them down as a courtesy before leaving.

Green solutions: Use eco-friendly cleansers or research how to make your own from common substances like baking soda and vinegar. Just remember to keep the area well ventilated as even greener cleaning supplies can cause some intoxicating fumes.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a move out day if students weren’t leaving the area – which means there needs to be some form of transportation taking them home.

Green solutions: Plan ahead to see where students are returning to, and if there are enough going to one point hire a bus. Buses can seat up to fifty people and everyone’s belongings can be stuffed underneath the coach. If it works out, that’s potentially fifty less cars on the road lowering pollution that day.

Jakob Barry is a green living journalist for Networx.com. Networx.com helps homeowners save time, money and frustration by connecting them with home improvement professionals. From plumbers and roofers to remodeling contractors and handymen, Networx simplifies the process of locating a reliable professional.

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