A “passive house” is a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in buildings, drastically reducing their ecological footprint by requiring minimal energy for heating or cooling. This concept is becoming more and more popular these days, focusing on creating homes that are comfortable and efficient while also sustainable. While Ilumina on Raiders Way strives to minimize our carbon footprint, achieving a fully passive house might be out of reach for most residential rental spaces. However, there are several ways to incorporate its principles into your own living space here at Ilumina. Here are 8 eco-friendly lifestyle tips to make your space more sustainable:

1. Grow Your Own Herbs, Veggies or Flowers

Earn your “green thumb” by growing your own smaller herbs, veggies or flowers. Utilize empty pots or go buy your own new containers to grow plants indoors or on your balcony at Ilumina. Growing your own can also help reduce your carbon footprint and can save you money shopping in the produce section of your local grocery store. Additionally, home-grown produce is generally healthier and can be a fun yet therapeutic challenge. You can even share some of your successes with the rest of the Ilumina community, which will make you quite popular!

2. Use Reusable Bags and Bottles

Cut down on plastic waste by switching to reusable bags and bottles. These can be used multiple times over long periods of time, reducing the amount of single-use plastics that end up in landfills. This both helps the environment and saves you money, as you will not need to spend additional money on purchasing disposable options, making it a win-win!

3. Buy Durable Items

Invest in high-quality, durable items that last longer and require less frequent replacement. While the initial cost might be higher, the long-term savings and reduced environmental impact make it worthwhile. Durable products minimize waste and reduce the need for continuous replacements, which is beneficial for both your wallet and the planet.

4. Ditch the Paper Towels

Replace disposable paper towels with reusable cloth towels. Paper towels contribute to deforestation and landfill waste while reusable towels are more sustainable as they can be washed and reused countless times, making them a more environmentally friendly and economical choice.

5. Recycle Correctly and Conscientiously

Recycle items like metal, paper and electronics properly to give them a second life. Ilumina provides the means to recycle conscientiously, which reduces the demand for new raw materials, conserves energy and helps protect the environment. Properly recycling electronics prevents harmful substances from entering the ecosystem and allows valuable components to be reused.

6. Go Paperless with Your Bills

Switch to paperless billing to save paper and reduce your carbon footprint. Managing bills online is not only eco-friendly, but also convenient and secure. Many services offer online bill payment options, making it easy to keep track of your finances without the need for physical statements. It’ll also save you mailbox clutter here at Ilumina.

7. Get a Water Filter

Use a water filter to enhance the quality of your tap water by reducing contaminants like chlorine, lead and bacteria. Water filters ensure your family has access to clean, safe drinking water without the need for bottled water, further reducing plastic waste and exposure to harmful chemicals.

8. Purchase More Efficient Appliances and Electronics

Invest in energy-efficient appliances and electronics to reduce energy consumption and lower your utility bills. Look for products with the Energy Star label or the EPA’s EnergyGuide label, which indicate superior energy efficiency. LED lights are a great choice as they use less power, last longer and emit less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs, making them safer and more economical.

By implementing these eco-friendly options, residents of the Ilumina community can significantly reduce their environmental impact in a manner that both benefits the planet, the occupant and our property. Little things equal big things, so small changes in your daily habits can lead to a symbiotic relationship beneficial for all!

How will you minimize your carbon footprint while at Ilumina? Leave your thoughts below in the comments!