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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Going Green - "The Dorm Life Edition" PART DEUX

So yesterday I talked about some  of the larger scale things you can do to cut cost and be more environmentally friendly while living on campus, today I'm going to discuss some other gadgets that can help as well, And I'm going to break them all down for you so you can see the overall savings and how it can benefit you.

BOOKS
Every school requires books, naturally, and all books they require come with a code known as the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).  This code allows you to look up books to make sure your getting the correct edition used for the class.  Each printing and each book has its own code, so 4th edition books have a different code then 3rd edition books, etc.
Most of us now have laptops, as they've become a standard use item for college, and if you don't well that's fine too.  The usefulness of this is that with your Books (which generally cost anywhere from $80.00 to a mind blowing $200.00) and their handy dandy ISBN, you can now shrug off the high cost of super-priced textbooks and opt for the e-book version in PDF Format for significantly cheaper.  The highest priced E-Book I've encountered for anything, including school was a mere $20.00!!!  So if you have to buy 4 books per semester, at an average of 100 a book, that's 400 bucks, but if you buy them as e-books at an average of $10.00 a book, that's only $40.00 for all of them, giving you a savings of $360.00 on average.  If you dont have a computer, that's fine, you can pick up an e-book (like the kindle or any other generic reader you find) reader for anywhere from $49.00 to $200.00, so even if you spring for the full bells and whistles reader for 200, your still spending around 50-55% this semester for books, and next semester, you'll spend MAYBE 10%.  Since most campus store purchases come out of your student account, and at the end of the semester you get whatever is left over back, this translates into a pretty good return on your investment.  On top of that, you don't have to waste time haggling over prices trying to sell the books privately to another student, or feeling ripped off when the store buys them back for pennies on the dollar.

POWER
Sometimes its a beautiful day and you want to work on your paper in the quad, or the park, or even just at the bus station while waiting for a ride.  Sometimes your paper deadline will be in crush time and you'll realize you've locked yourself out of your room, and your roommate has classes all day, and the RA is nowhere around.  Well that causes an issue if the battery in your laptop is like mine, and only holds a charge for 2.5 hours.All is not lost though! The fine folks E-Pow have released a Portable Solar Laptop Charger that not only gets the job done, but doesn't hurt your wallet doing it! 
 This little baby will provide enough power to not only charge your laptop, but also allow you to run it at the same time, just as if it was plugged into a wall outlet, and pulls in a price tag of only $107.00!  That's a far cry from the 600.00 options of last year!  Still while $107, may still be a little to rich for your blood, factor int he money you just saved on books with the e-book purchase, and your still golden.

If your rocking a netbook, and dont need as much power, there are other systems out there, some of which can even be found on ebay for even less.  The trick is to know how much power you need, and if you don't know,  ask the geeky nerd down the hall who does (every dorm has one, I was one)... Ladies, remember that nerd could someday be the next Bill Gates so don't count him out of the dating pool.
Once you know how much you need, you can hunt for the one that best suits your needs and your budget.  The great thing with these is, even when your in your dorm, you can use these to charge your cell phones, ipods, etc just by setting it in the window!
If your rocking an ipad, and using it as your e-book reader, there are solar chargers out there that cost as little as 25 bucks (this also apply's to some net books).  Good luck, and don't spend all your saved cash on pizza....

27 comments:

Kraken said...

This is fucking wonderful! Thanks for the protips, mate!

Team Rocketman said...

That laptop charger may be the single greatest thing I have ever seen.

Infinity said...

great tips as everyday! ty

David Davidson said...

Where the hell can you buy one of those laptop chargers? I don't think I've ever seen those at a Best Buy before.

I need a new charger and this is perfect!

HentaiUploadz said...

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poopstm said...

cool info you have !!
your blog look cool :)

wepresidentnow said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
johanathan biggles said...

Love your tips, always relevant and useful.

Michaelangelo said...

Holy shit that is useful. Thanks bro

http://bookmarkmeplz.blogspot.com/

Kaiza said...

damn, need one of thosue power supplies, but they are way too expensive for my budget :(

Too Baked said...

great blog man, more people should be reading this

marko said...

how do you go selling your digital copy onwards if you're done with it?

Sparrow said...

you wouldn't sell your digital copy marko, the point is, its cheap enough to keep and still save you money.
Most books can be found for free if you use some sort of file share network, or talk to former students who have a copy of the e-book.

Sparrow said...

@kaiza, if you get me the info for the power needed for your laptop, I'll find you a cheaper one that meets your needs.
As I said, the ones for netbooks and iPads are only 25 dollars.

Mr. Ekonomi said...

The "me want"-factor is kinda high on this one! :D

shirou said...

great tips.. you sir are awesome

Barnacle said...

this guide is great :D

Admin said...

Never heard of the portable solar laptop charger. I wonder how big it is.

Jackson said...

Nice alternatives to the otherwise Very expensive "going green" methods everyone seems to be marketing nowadays.

http://militarypictures2010.blogspot.com/ said...

I like the way you support environmentalism, a non-forced approach with numbers to show why it could be better. Some people just don't understand that forcing others to be green friendly makes people do the opposite (IE: That guy who took hostages in the Discovery Channel HQ, he put a big dent in the credibility of "green") But keep up the good work! I like seeing encouragement and not punishment for a greener lifestyle

zergitup said...

E-books are definitely a great way of going green. I can print for free at college too so its a cheap alternative to those sites!

Check out my gaming site and help support, I'll follow you and keep looking for environmental tips!

http://zergitup.blogspot.com/

http://palebluedot4.blogspot.com/ said...

though about ebooks but i hate reading on a screen

Viperman said...

Nice read :D

When I have my own house I'm gunna try and get some solar panels. Save myself some electricity

hamonrye said...

Good ideas.

http://beatinginertia.blogspot.com/ said...

You are truly an inspiration! I will keep your thoughts in mind for my next blog posting.

FIAIN said...

The e-Pow solar charger looks so sick!

Steve said...

pro-tips are pro. I'm reading up on the solar power system now. Also, a lot of common books for classes are available for torrent, if you're into that kind of thing.
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