2016 EcoChallenge: Offsetting our Carbon Footprint with Camaraderie and Commitment

By Hennebery Eddy

Hennebery Eddy finished strong in this year’s NWEI EcoChallenge, ranking 5th out of 450 teams that pledged to reduce individual impact on our planet with sustainability-driven challenges. And while we may rejoice in our competitive triumph, here at Hennebery Eddy, we celebrate process – not just the result.

From October 14-28, our 50-person staff reached out to friends and family, together creating a team of 109 people ready to challenge our behaviors and habits to contribute towards a healthy and sustainable future. Some team members focused on waste challenges, agreeing to use exclusively reusable containers for lunches; others adopted health goals, aiming to eliminate all refined sugars from their diets. These daily initiatives were complemented by one-time challenges including: visiting a local farm, auditing toxic home products, installing alternative energy systems, or researching water and air quality issues.

Some days we fell short of our goals, caving to readily accessible sugary treats or habitual screen time, but throughout the process we bolstered each other with encouragement to press onward and stick with it. And throughout our two-week journey, individuals delighted in buying local from neighborhood farmers’ markets, in journaling a daily list of gratitude, in adopting a habit of eating outdoors, and in discovering trails within home’s reach. With each action we discovered new ways to live, create, work, and consume responsibly.

Conventional wisdom and research says it takes two weeks to create a habit, and if you can follow through with an action for 14 consecutive days, you’re likely to keep it up. While our team may no longer be earning points for a challenge, with 14 days under our belt, we’re ready to continue our earth-conscious habits and continue inspiring positive action at home, at work, and in our community, at large.