By: Bailey Gaffney

With Earth Day coming up, I want to give people a few ideas of ways that they can work on making their dorm or apartment living a little more earth friendly! Although it seems like sustainable living is hard to start, and seems like a taboo way to live, there are simple and small steps you can make now to improve your sustainability efforts!

To help with ideas on how to improve your efforts to live a more sustainable lifestyle while on campus; here are some easy swaps you can make to make your dorm or apartment living a little more earth friendly:

  • Bring your own bags grocery shopping.

This is one of the easiest swaps to make on this list! By taking the time to bring your own bags grocery shopping, you are eliminating 2+ plastic bags, every time you shop! Another great thing about bringing your own reusable bags, is that they tend to have more space in them as well, meaning that you will be increasing the number of items that you can fit in one bag. Check out the UW-W Bookstore website to see the reusable bags that they offer and pick one up today!

  • Switch to bar soap for everyday use!

Another easy switch is switching to bar soap instead of liquid soap. By making this switch, you’re avoiding the plastic use, and may even notice that your soap is lasting longer! There is bar soap for everyday use, dishes, body soap and more. You can look at the different type of bar soap on websites like and, if you’re looking to see what options you have to choose from.

  • Use a reusable water bottle and water filter to avoid plastic water bottle use.

This easy swap is one of the most popular ones, as almost everyone is using reusable water bottles. However, while living in the dorms and on-campus apartments, it’s easy to grab plastic water bottles for everyday use as well. Instead of caving in and buying a bundle of plastic water bottles, instead consider getting a water filtration system like a Brita to fill up your reusable water bottles with. This easy switch is simple to enforce, and a great way to help our planet! Reusable water bottles can be found at the UW-W bookstore, and

  • Reusable zip lock bags/Tupper wear containers instead of plastic bags.

This switch is one that I personally love! Instead of using plastic zip lock bags for your snacks, consider getting re-useable ones from or Since making this change, I have noticed that my snacks stay fresher, longer and love the fact that I can just give them a quick wash and it’s ready to use again.

  • Use cloth napkins/hand towels instead of paper towels.

This is another swap that can be easily achieved! Make sure to keep a supply of a few hand towels and wash cloths in your dorm/apartment to avoid using paper towels. This easy switch is one that may seem insignificant, but really goes a long way., and the UW-W Bookstore have many options to choose from!

  • Walk whenever you can instead of driving!

Lastly, one of the best things you can do for our environment is to choose to walk wherever you’re going, whenever you can. Opting for a nice walk cuts down on your carbon footprint! If you’re unable to opt in for walking, when possible, no worries, just consider following the other tips that I have above!

  • Switch from dryer sheets to dryer balls!

This is another super easy swap to make! By switching from dryer sheets to dryer balls, you’re eliminating plastic use and can reuse these repeatedly. Dryer sheets are made of a lot of non-earth friendly materials, such as heavy fragrances and plastic. carries these and are expected to have a couple year life span!

Remember, these are just a few ways that you can practice a more sustainable lifestyle. I recommend that you check out UW-W Sustainability for more ideas and information on how to work on living a more sustainable lifestyle, and helping UW-W become more earth friendly.

Happy Earth Day!