Going green means saving money: 10 tips for cheap, green dorm living

If you're a college-aged twentysomething like me, you've probably heard the phrase "going green" so many times these past few years that it seems more of a hollow catchphrase than a rallying cry. And though it'd be nice to buy new biodegradable pens, they can cost $6 for a four-pack: and damn, you can get 60 packets of sale price-ramen for that!

So what's a penny-pinching but eco-conscious college student to do? Never fear; there are many ways to live more sustainably by modifying your daily habits or making smarter purchases with money you'd probably spend anyway. Ease your eco-conscience and follow Money College's 10 tips to be greener for (almost) free.

1. "Turn off lights, turn off lights, turn off lights."

When I asked a green-minded friend for his dorm advice, these were the first words out of his mouth - and seeing as he just spent a year living in simulated poverty in an immersion program, I believe him. Check it out for yourself: Click around these websites from Notre Dame and Arizona State University, which demonstrate the remarkable energy savings when you turn off or unplug electronics in your dorm room. Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Energy publishes precise information on how to maximize savings, depending on the bulbs you use. The best part? Mindfully flipping that switch costs you nothing, but could potentially save hundreds of dollars over the course of a school year.