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Whether you’re a freshman packing up for college for the first time or a returning student, moving to college can be stressful—and produce a lot of waste. Do you really need everything in that moving to college packing list? What should you pack in? How do you move to college sustainably? Here are a few tips to help keep your college move in day stress-free and eco-friendly! 


Use What You Have—And Bring Only What You Need.

While back to school shopping sprees can be tempting, odds are you already own a lot of things you need when moving to college. Take a look around your home before buying new items. Packing items you already own helps you save money, and cuts back on potential duplicate items that could end up in a landfill. For larger items, coordinate with your roommates to make sure you aren’t bringing duplicates. You may find it makes more sense to share a mini fridge or a printer. (Bonus for new students: this is a great opportunity to reach out to your new roommate and get to know them before move in day!) Remember, you have to move out at the end of the year—the less you bring, the less you have to pack back up. Typically students leave many things behind at the end of the year—a clear sign of overpacking! 


Pack Reusables

College is a busy time—between classes, clubs, and social events, your schedule will be packed! Reusable items should be at the top of your list of things to pack when moving to college. Before you head to school, make sure you have all the reusable essentials you’ll need on the go. A reusable water bottle is a must, and a travel mug for coffee or tea will come in handy for early morning classes (or after a late night)! If you envision yourself ordering takeout often, a reusable cutlery set is a great investment, and is easy to toss into your backpack in case of spontaneous deliveries or takeout. Don’t forget a set of metal or silicone straws, wool dryer balls, and a reusable tote or two! These items will help you avoid contributing to the single-use plastic in our landfills and oceans—and can also help you express your personality!


Ditch The Cardboard Boxes


Try packing in suitcases or reusable storage boxes, rather than cardboard boxes. Under the bed boxes are a popular storage solution—why not pack in the items you plan to use? Packing in storage boxes, laundry bags, and backpacks will cut down on waste and save space. You can also wrap delicate items in sheets or towels as an alternative to bubble wrap! 


College is a big transition, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Keeping sustainability in mind while envisioning your moving out to college checklist can help you save time, money, space—and most importantly, our planet. Remember to take some deep breaths on move in day. Moving can be stressful, but it’ll be over before you know it—and your dorm room will soon feel like your new, eco-friendly home.

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