Green dorms

When college students set up their dorm rooms later this month, they shouldn't be ignoring opportunities to go green.

Project Green Dorm is encouraging students across the country to make environmentally conscientious decisions about going back to school, from items used everyday to how much energy is being used by students and their roommates.

College students and their parents can visit

teensturninggreen.org to learn about green ways to prepare for school as well as order a green kit that includes essentials for living an eco-friendly lifestyle at college.

Gift wrap

It's always nice to surprise someone with a gift. But when $5 billion worth of gift wrap, gift bags and tissue paper ends up in landfills across the country, exchanging gifts might not be the most eco-friendly of activities.

But you don't need to stop exchanging gifts just to reduce the landfill load. A company called Gift Bags Gone Green launched a line of reusable fabric gift bags to help address this wasteful gift wrap problem. The reusable bags are available in five different sizes. The bags are made using a combination of vintage and remnant fabrics. The company hopes to expand the line later this year.

Old jeans

Denim might be blue, but a nationwide drive to collect old demin has green on the mind. The "Cotton. From Blue to Green" denim drive is collecting old demin so that it can find new life as natural cotton fiber insulation. Once the denim is collected, it's broken down into its original form of cotton.

About 500 pairs of jeans are needed to create insulation for one average-sized U.S. home. To find out how you can donate old pairs of denim jeans, and maybe that old demin jacket, visit www.

cottonfrombluetogreen.

org

Phone campaign

Verizon has kept more than 6 million old cell phones out of landfills across the country.

In October 2001, Verizon launched a national cell phone recycling program called HopeLine. Some of the phones are refurbished by Verizon for reuse, while others are broken down and parts are recycled as much as possible.

If anything can't be recycled, the program makes sure that the parts don't end up in a landfill.

The proceeds of the program, which have amounted to nearly $7 million in that time, go toward domestic-violence victims.

To find the nearest HopeLine cell phone donation location, visit www.

hopeline