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5 Eco-Friendly Habits to Start Today

Expert advice from sustainability analyst, Halie Tenor

Dream of reducing your footprint in your daily life? Going green certainly doesn’t happen overnight, but your small steps will add up. It’s all about making better choices — and our resident sustainability expert has some ideas that might help you get started.

According to Halie, building consistent habits is the key to success. So she’s challenged herself with practicing a new habit every month over the course of a year, with the goal being to adopt 12 new routines that she can get comfortable with over time. But, rest assured, you don’t need to tackle 12 new habits right away. In fact, if you’re a novice, perhaps it’s best to start with just a few. Watch this video to learn about her top five eco-friendly habits you can try today! And be on your way to a greener lifestyle in no time.

  1. HALIE TENOR: Living a sustainable lifestyle doesn't happen overnight. Here are five green habits you can start today. 

    On screen: 5 GREEN HABITS YOU CAN START TODAY HALIE TENOR: I'm Halie Tenor, and I work as a sustainability analyst at American Family Insurance. 

    On screen: HALIE TENOR, Sustainability Analyst, American Family Insurance 

    On screen: #1 ECO-FRIENDLY BATHROOM PRODUCTS HALIE TENOR: One of the first things you can do is look at your bathroom products, which often contain chemicals that are harmful to your health and the planet. I have swapped out shampoos, deodorants, and perfumes for eco-friendlier versions. You can find a brand that you trust, or you can look online for ingredients to make your own. 

    On screen: BUY BAR DEODORANT HALIE TENOR: I buy bar deodorant from a natural health store, which means that I'm avoiding all the plastic packaging, and I know that the ingredients are safe. 

    On screen: MAKE YOUR OWN BEAUTY PRODUCTS HALIE TENOR: I also make a lot of my own beauty products. The ingredients are often multi-purpose, and it's cost effective. 

    On screen: The next thing you should check out are your cleaning products, which have a lot of the same issues as your beauty items.

    On screen: #2 ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS HALIE TENOR: I love to make my own air freshener, which I found a great recipe for online. 

    On screen: MAKE YOUR OWN AIR FRESHENER HALIE TENOR: A few other swaps you can make are to replace your foam sponge. 

    On screen: USE A WASHABLE SPONGE HALIE TENOR: …with a reusable, washable one and to use bar soap instead of soap that comes in a plastic bottle. 

    On screen: #3 OPT FOR PAPERLESS HALIE TENOR: Number three is pretty simple. Opt for paperless whenever you can. We get a lot of junk mail, and all that paper adds up. 

    On screen: #4 BRING RESUABLE BAGS HALIE TENOR: Next are reusable bags. Remember to bring reusable tote when running errands or going to the grocery store and reusable produce bags when getting fresh produce from the farmer's market. 

    On screen: #5 DITCH DISPOSABLES IN YOUR KITCHEN HALIE TENOR: Finally, ditch the disposables in your kitchen. You can use things like Mason jars and snack pouches to store leftover food, and you can replace regular paper towels with washable, reusable bamboo towel. 


    HALIE TENOR: Those are five great habits to start with. I try to add a new habit every month, but go at your own pace. Any step you take will help you reach your goal of living a more sustainable lifestyle. 

    On screen: American Family Insurance, Insure carefully, dream fearlessly. American Family Mutual Insurance, S.I. and Its Operating Companies, 6000 American Parkway, Madison WI 53783 | © 2019 – 9/19

5 Green Habits You Can Start Today

  1. Eco-Friendly Bathroom Products

    Shampoos, deodorants, perfumes and other common bathroom products can contain harsh chemicals that are bad for your health and the environment. Avoid plastic packaging and try to buy in large quantities and use reusable containers.

  2. Eco-Friendly Cleaning

    Many of the same harmful chemicals in bathroom products can be found in your cleaning products as well. Try to make your own cleaning products using natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and natural salt. Use lemon or essential oils to give a clean and refreshing scent to your supplies.

  3. Opt for Paperless

    Choosing paperless alternatives for mail can help you declutter, and it benefits the environment too! Learn how to go paperless.

  4. Bring Reusable Bags

    Using reusable bags can help cut down plastic and paper waste. Get them from a farmer’s market or at your local grocery store!

  5. Ditch Disposables in Your Kitchen

    In 2017, Americans spent 5.7 billion dollars on paper towels. Halie recommends looking for re-washable bamboo towels instead of using single-use paper towels.

Remember to work at your own pace. Some habits can be easier to adopt than others. While certain practices will take time to transition into fully, and others can be quick and easy — like an on-the-go, sustainable kit. What matters is making a conscious effort every day to reduce your ecological footprint on our planet.

And if you're looking for more ways to make a difference in your community, we have you covered! Check out these inspiring stories and resources to pursue your social impact dreams.

Related Topics: Passions , Personal Development , Health