Although many of out there are probably in complete denial (especially vacationing educators out there), back to school season is indeed in full swing. For collegiate types returning to the dorms or moving away from home for the very first time, it's time to pack up those boxes and decide how to make a barren, perhaps shared, room feel a bit more like home.

As I noted in my 2009 edition of "Going beyond the dorm," there’s been a huge push over the past couple of years for dorm-bound students to green their small spaces. Unlike “real life” where you have more authority over the eco-friendliness of your living space, dorm-dwellers have to mind the details since buying large furnishings and fixtures and dealing with utilities is out of their hands. Small but important conservation efforts and small-scale purchasing decisions, mainly revolving around décor and organization, are key.
It’s also important, of course, to stand out and make your room — as prison cell-esque as it is — special. No one wants to live in a room with bare walls (aside from the requisite black light poster), a mini fridge, and a heap of dirty laundry. Spruce up a dormitory domicile with hand-me-downs from home, Craigslist finds, and these 15 unique eco-accessories — several are useful beyond the dorm room —  that’ll help it stand out from the others in the quad. 

Three-Ring Mountable Planter (Steel) by Eric Trine @ Poketo ($25)

Coyuchi Jersey Sheet Set @ Coyuchi ($124 - Twin XL)

Alarm Dock by Jonas Damon @ Areaware ($40 - ships 9/5/11)

Rickshaw Large Zero Messenger Bag in Performance Tweed/Earl Grey @ Rickshaw Bags ($110)

My ECO Can @ Mollaspace ($14)

Square Tack Frame @ MIO ($65)

Hand-Cranked Paper Shredder by I.D.E.A. International @ A+R Store ($44)

Cargo Container by Daniel Ballou @ Areaware ($24 - ships 10/1/11)

Lunch Pot @ black + blum ($22)

5 Minute Shower Timer @ Kikkerland ($5)

Crane Fog LED Desk Lamp @ CB2 ($99.95)

Bamboo Shower Caddy @ ($14.92)

BerryPlus Concentrated Laundry Soap @ ($8.75/20 pack)

Cardboard Animal Heads @ Uncommon Goods($28 - $58)

Ditto Hangers @ Abe's Market($15/10 pack)

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Going beyond the dorm: 2011 edition
Are you (or is your baby) heading off to college soon? Consider these 15 unique items ranging from bamboo shower caddies to organic cotton sheet sets (in twin X