You don't have to be a 100% sustainable sis to invest in eco-friendly dorm essentials. But, if you've got the ick from plastic and polyester-derived picks — you're well on your way to doing your part for the planet.
It can be so tempting to add lots of cheap and cheerful odds and ends to your dorm packing list, but often things that are suspiciously affordable are *too* good to be true. Most are made miles away with toxic chemicals and fossil fuels, and while California has got its own laws (like Proposition 65) those don't automatically protect everyone from the consequences of adding unsustainable picks to their college inventory.
Luckily as your older e-sibling, I promise you, just a few mindful purchases can indirectly save you money, while you're saving the earth. Think meal-prepping picks that will cut down on single-use plastic, things to keep your bathroom hygienic, and eco-friendly alternatives that look luxe. Mother Nature says TIA!
Made with 100% organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), these fluffy bathroom towels are essential for all those showers you'll take after sweaty sports sessions (and the occasional frat/sorority party). This handy set includes one bath towel, one hand towel, and a washcloth for your skincare routine.
Easy to clean
Obvs not the most exciting of buys, but investing in a stylish toilet brush (that's also eco-friendly) is a W in our eyes. Not to mention, a must for dorms with en-suite bathrooms. Silicone brushes are best for cleaning poop and other toilet-related debris. The widely-spaced bristles prevent dirt clogging and allow liquid to drain quickly, and the stainless steel exterior has a fingerprint-proof coating.
Price: $24.99 for 12
NGL, plastic hangers give me the ick. Even though I graduated from college (quite some time ago now), I've kept my bamboo wood hangers for years. If you don't like natural-hued ones, IKEA's Bumerang hangers (in white) will give you a Scandi-chic aesthetic when organizing your dorm.
Call me old-fashioned, but I used to love packing a sandwich and sneaking it into my lecture. I mean some of the prices on campus for filled bread is freakin' ridiculous. So save your pennies by making them yourself and sealing them up in these stand-out food storage bags.
Hard to kill
Price: $82 for three
Cacti are the best indoor plants for your dorm, IMO. They're pretty low-maintenance, survive on little water, and can deter pesky flies from lingering around in your room. I love these upcycled latte-colored planters, too, for adding a li'l warmth to an anemic scheme.
PS: I just found out that The Sill is female-founded, and so stoked to support these boss women!
Save on plastic
If you're #teamsparklingwater and don't think it tastes like TV static, this small kitchen appliance is a worthwhile investment. This Target-exclusive, white and gold design is super chic and will save you from buying half-liter plastic bottles from the store.
Price: From $109
Barbie might be known for her plastic-fantastic lifestyle, but this swimsuit-inspired rug is actually quite eco-friendly. That's because Ruggable has manufacturing facilities in the USA, and uses recycled materials whenever possible. Its classic and cushioned rug pads are made with 50% to 70% recycled materials. This year, it has also partnered with OneTreePlanted to plant 100,000 trees to offset its carbon footprint. Generally speaking, rugs are great insulators for keeping your dorm room warm so you don't have to crank up the heat.
Lunch on the go
This infinitely-reusable food storage set comes with everything you need to enjoy lunch, dinner, breakfast, and snacks on the go. It's made from ceramic and is totally BPA-free, plus it comes in several colors from a cute blush to a cool cream. One for someone who goes to the office, it includes a bowl, a mug, a bottle, and a glass
How often do I use this non-toxic pan? The answer is: Always! The reason is that the ceramic nonstick coating is made without potentially harmful toxins, forever chemicals, and PFAS. It's also very easy on the eye and constantly gets compliments.