The Big Green Move

It’s that bittersweet time of year again. August brings the excitement of another school year and the sadness of the end of another summer. You spend your last precious days cherishing moments at home with friends and family and gearing up for the move to Ames. The same old familiar excitement is felt packing your belongings into boxes as was felt packing your freshly sharpened pencils and notebooks into your backpack for the first day of school. It is truly a time to be treasured, full of hope of up-and-coming year and relish of the last days of summer.

As you prepare for the upcoming move it is easy to get excited about all the things you will need for the school year. If you are moving into a new home whether it be into the residence halls, a Greek chapter facility, apartment or house your needs have probably changed from the year before. As an incoming freshman, you will see the ads on TV and in magazines flaunting brand new dorm décor and feel the urge to run out and buy it to create the perfect college atmosphere in your new residence. If you are moving from a single room residence into an apartment or house you may be overwhelmed by the amount of things your now require.

Getting excited about your new home is part of what makes this time of year so great. However, becoming overly excited can cause you to over buy, over spend and end up with excess belongings in the end.

Check out these tips below to save some GREEN this school year on your move back to Ames.


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Dude, Where’s my Car?

On the move back to Ames it is extremely tempting to want to have your car at school. After driving it around all summer you just can’t imagine your day without it right? But has the long summer made you forget all the great transportation methods Ames has to offer!

There are so many ways to get around Ames including CyRide and ISU’s Enterprise CarShare right on campus. The community is also very bike friendly and has taxi services. Looking for a ride home on holidays or weekends? The university facilitates buses on holiday breaks that go to major metropolis areas that you can pay for directly though Accessplus or find a ride on the University’s car pooling website, ISU Rideshare, that lets you connect to other students going home and offering rides.

So you’ll have to have Mom and Dad drive you to move in, that just means less boxes for you to carry!

Goodbye School Supplies Lists

After assessing the things you will need for the year, go through and see if you already have some of those things around your house. Last year’s backpack is still holding up good and it’s still full of half used notebooks and a variety of writing utensils.

From preschool on up we have gotten into a habit of getting the list of required school supplies and going to the store and checking them off your list as you throw them in the cart. In college however, you may find your needs are different and you don’t need all of those supplies you have required in the past.

It’s best to start with what you already have leftover and buy more supplies once you discover the needs of your classes. Find you no longer need a calculator or clicker used in a previous class? Donate or sell it to a student who can put it to use again.


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Unbind Yourself from Books

Oh the dread of buying textbooks. Not the most fun thing about going back to school. Make sure you are getting the greenest deal out there!

First, wait… to buy your textbooks. Avoid buying books before the first week of classes, teachers may change the book requirements, you could end up dropping the class or find a friend in the class you can share a book with. Then decide if you really need the book, many classes have the book available at the library you can go check out for an hour or two to do your reading and even make scans to save on your computer. For these classes there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a textbook.

If you do find that you need the purchase the book rent, buy used, share a book with a friend or buy the online version. Also if you have textbooks you no longer use taking up shelf space be sure to sell them offering someone else the chance to save money and paper.


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Thrifty Finds

Now that you’re all set for your academics it’s time to focus on your living style. But before you head off to the closest Ikea or Target consider other options. With college being such a temporary thing many college students’ furniture is likewise temporary. Do you really want to invest money in buying something new that you are only going to use for a year?

Dorm room staples like bed lofts, futons and mini fridges will likely not be necessary after your first year at Iowa State. Take advantage of a great deal and buy a used version from an upperclassman for much less than big box prices.

If you are moving into your first apartment or house you will find there are a lot of things you will need to live on your own. All of these things can really add up in price. Hit up garage sales and consignment stores to find all of the items you will need at a fraction of the price. Take to pinterest or other inspiration to repurpose or upcycle your thrifty finds into one-of-a kind personalized statements for your new home.


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Become a Local

You will likely find that there are some things that you just have to buy new. Instead of buying in your hometown and collecting even more things to fit into Mom’s already overly stuffed mini-van wait until you get to Ames to buy them.

The Ames stores are already well stocked with all the supplies students will need for the year. Waiting to get to town to purchase these items will use less fuel than weighing down the car on the ride there. While you are out and about shopping be sure to check out sustainability-minded business around Ames!


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Glue Guns at the Ready

And now the fun really starts, making your new residence feel like home. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy decorations. Check out these links for eco-friendly decorations you can make yourself. After all what is syllabus week for if not crafting with friends.

Upcycle Thrift Store Finds

DIY Hacks and Flips on Home Décor

Find New Uses for Wood Pallets

Give New Life to Old Tires

Now you’re all ready for your green move back to Ames! We can’t wait to see you Living Green! on campus this year!

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