Green: It's More Than Just a School Color

Off to college? Be green about it. (Photo: XiXinXing/Shutterstock)

Sending a kid off to college this year? Green mom Marie Carr, has sent three daughters off to college. Her experiences prompted her to write Sending Your Child to College: The Prepared Parent's Operational Manual — in order to help parents, and rising college students understand the ins and outs of privacy laws, paying tuition bills, managing a sick child no longer at home, health care proxies, dorm insurance, and identity theft. Her book also offers lots of tips on making eco-savvy choices for the college crowd.

Here are a few of Marie (and her daughter's) tips to help college students can do their part for their wallet and their planet:

Remember to re-use and recycle wherever possible rather than buy new. A little asking around of family, friends, and neighbors -- and stops at a few garage sales -- will usually net you much more than you could imagine. And, of course, there is always e-bay and craigslist to check out, too.

Other ways students can reuse and recycle include:

  • Recycling gift wrap to line dresser drawers
  • Recycle gift boxes, mugs, flower pots for desk accessories
  • Utilize their college's student paper print allowance and possibly not purchase a printer
  • Use their computer as their TV and DVD player
  • Use their cell phone as an alarm clock

Consider these options before setting out to the stores:

  • Purchase bamboo and organic fiber bed linens and towels
  • Purchase bamboo hangers, racks, sweater bags, storage boxes, plates and desk accessories
  • Purchase messenger bags made from recycled content for use as book bags
  • Create your own cleaning products from baking soda and vinegar.
  • Purchase dry erase boards of recycled melamine
  • Purchase recycled retractable pens

Adapted from Sending Your Child to College: The Prepared Parent's Operational Manual ( by Marie Carr and her daughters: Katharine Carr, Ann Carr & Elizabeth Carr. Marie has sent her three daughters off to college and been a member of three college parent councils. The book has won numerous awards and recognitions including the 2009 Best Product Award Winner from PTPA Media and been an honored recipient of an iParenting Media Award.