Skip To Content Skip To Menu Skip To Footer

Living on Campus

A Greener Packing List

As you pack for your move to college, keep in mind that Dickinson College is committed to sustainability. As a carbon-neutral institution, we aim to minimize our collective impact on the environment and encourage sustainable living in your residence hall and throughout your life at Dickinson. We encourage purchasing consciously, using recycled products, reusing items, and developing community by sharing items in community spaces and residence halls.

Remember, however, that many of the items you use at home will already be available at school—such as a refrigerator and microwave—and as you soon find out, Dickinson always smiles upon sustainable choices. Everything on this list is optional, so consider what you need and what can be borrowed or purchased. If you forget something, you will most likely find it from a friend/roommate in the College Bookstore, the Devil's Den (Dickinson’s convenience store), or the local shopping centers and stores in downtown Carlisle.


Bring comfortable clothes that suit your style. Closet space should be sufficient for most students. Planning a wardrobe specific to the season and exchanging clothing over breaks will help you maintain the necessary space for all your belongings. You may want to bring a swimsuit to the Kline Center indoor pool and clothing for the occasional formal dance. Many students also wear footwear and/or robes in the bathroom.

We have a free clothing exchange at Dickinson (Dickinson Free xChange:, where you can donate or take clothing and accessories you may need. Free xChange is a great place to find a hat, coat, gloves, dress shirt, or weekend dress at no cost. It minimizes waste and encourages reuse on campus. 


Buy recycled (>50% post-consumer waste) and non-toxic products when available!

  • Pencils/pens/highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Notebooks & writing paper (check home for scrap paper/unused notebooks)
  • Stamps
  • Envelopes
  • Paper clips
  • Rubber bands
  • Stapler and staples
  • Ruler
  • Note cards (various sizes)
  • Glue
  • Transparent & masking tape
  • Thumb tacks
  • Calendar
  • Daily planner
  • Dry erase board


  • Clothing
  • Twin sheets — extra long (natural fiber)
  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Re-usable bag (for shopping, to avoid plastic bags)
  • Tupperware for leftovers
  • Thermos/portable mug (limit waste, and you’ll also save $0.50 when you buy drinks on campus)
  • Re-usable water bottle (BPA-free, aluminum, or stainless steel)
  • Portable utensil set (so you don’t need disposables)
  • Laundry bag or basket
  • Laundry detergent (choose a scent-free, chemical-free detergent)
  • Clothes-drying rack to avoid clothes dryer
  • Toiletry items
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower shoes
  • Umbrella/raincoat/rain boots
  • Hangers
  • Bike (to get around sustainably), plus a bike lock and helmet (to get around safely)


Look for Energy Star-logo TVs, DVD players, computers, and microwaves.

  • Desk lamp (with LED or compact fluorescent light bulb)
  • Wastebasket (recycling receptacles provided)
  • Surge protector w/ circuit breaker (switch to power down all appliances at once)
  • Alarm clock (single function uses less energy)
  • Flashlight/battery-operated lantern
  • Dishes & flatware (lots of events encouraged as BYO place-setting to reduce waste)
  • Shoe rack
  • Small tool kit (to repair broken items)
  • Safety pins
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines/vitamins
  • Thermometer
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Storage crates (recycled plastic)
  • Fan
  • Games
  • DVDs
  • Sewing kit
  • Coffee pot*
  • Iron/ironing board*

*Appliances such as coffee pots and curling irons should have automatic shut-off.


  • No cooking devices in rooms except a microwave (which will be provided in the common space of all residence halls)
  • No pets except for fish that can be kept in a bowl or 20-gallon tank
  • No hazardous electrical appliances with open heating elements, including halogen lamps, cooking appliances, decorative lights (including string lights or holiday lights), concealed extension cords, or multiple outlet adapters. Multiple strip outlets (fused, with at least 14 gauge wire, grounded cord) are allowed to power electronic devices when needed.
  • No candles, incense burners, or oil-burning lamps and lanterns
  • No firecrackers, fireworks, or any explosive material
  • No gasoline motors of any type and no storing of fuels such as gasoline or propane
  • No guns, ammunition, or weapons, including but not limited to knives, darts, foils, and swords
  • No wooden frame or metal lofts 
  • No screws, nails, staples and/or adhesives such as Scotch or duct tape on walls
  • No tapestries/fabric to be hung from the ceiling/sprinkler pipes
  • No device or object that would block a fire safety object or exit/egress from a building


  • Air fresheners (contain many toxic chemicals. Consider this deodorizer instead: 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 4 tablespoons baking soda.) 
  • Single-use water bottles (disposables)
  • TV (already available in residence halls)
  • Aerosol cans
  • Single-use items
  • Mini fridge (intense energy users)

It’s easy to bring all the items you might miss from home: a small refrigerator, microwave, hairdryer or straightener, printer, etc. In actuality, refrigerators and microwaves will be available in your residence hall, and your printing allotment will allow you to print in public buildings like the library. As always, Dickinson encourages and appreciates your efforts to engage the world … sustainably!