Living an Eco-Friendly Life at Home and at Work: A Tom’s of Maine Story

By Sher Warkentin in Thinking Sustainably

As a company, Tom’s of Maine is dedicated to creating a safe, sustainable product on which families can depend. It’s not just a company, however; it’s also a community of like-minded people who believe in the importance of leading an eco-friendly life.

Meet Paul Jessen

Paul Jessen

As the brand manager of innovation at Tom’s of Maine, Paul Jessen is one of those community members. Long before he joined Tom’s of Maine, Paul dreamed of having a job where he could create products that have a positive impact on the world, within a socially responsible company. “My favorite part of working at Tom’s is the passion and energy that comes from people working together around a values-centered mission,” Paul says. “We’re intrinsically motivated to work for Tom’s and always working to make ourselves better!”

Although he first discovered Tom’s of Maine in 1999 when his “uber-crunchy sister” brought an aluminum tube of Tom’s toothpaste along on a visit, it wasn’t until he was shopping for his own family that Paul became a customer. “I didn’t buy Tom’s myself until 10 years later, when buying the first tube of toothpaste for my baby daughter.” These days, he’s an avid Tom’s employee and consumer, with a particular fondness for the soap. “I’ve always loved our fantastic bar soap product, and now that I’ve personally had a hand in developing our new bar soap line to dramatically reduce the packaging waste, I love it even more!”

Living An Eco-Friendly Life At Home

Paul brings to his home life the same eco-friendly values that are behind the sustainable, lower-waste products. “In my household, we’re always making small changes to live a more sustainable lifestyle, from growing our own produce, to raising our own chickens, to insulating our attic and installing a new furnace that burns renewable Maine wood pellets instead of oil,” Paul explains.

Paul and his wife have also worked hard to build an eco-friendly family environment with their two kids, whom he describes as already “pretty fierce defenders of the earth.” Recycling and composting are an ingrained part of their routines at school, and Paul reinforces those practices—and the reasons behind them—at home.

A Word of Advice

He understands that the transition to a more sustainable lifestyle can be challenging, and for readers trying to live a more eco-friendly life at home, he recommends starting with composting. “We’ve learned through our office transition to a Zero Waste system that compostable waste makes up over half of a typical household’s waste by weight,” Paul explains. He adds that getting started is surprisingly easy. You can begin by collecting food waste and soiled paper like tissues and paper towels and adding this waste to a bucket with tight-fitting lid, or to a small pile in your backyard. If you’re lucky enough to have a compost pickup program like Tom’s of Maine has at work, just take it out with your trash and recycling. There are plenty of ways to help save the planet, and it’s OK to start small as long as you start somewhere!

employee recycling

In addition to being a big proponent of composting, Paul was also part of the team that implemented the Zero Waste program in the Tom’s of Maine Kennebunk, Maine offices. You can set up your own box at your company or neighborhood, if interested.

What are some ways you exhibit Tom’s of Maine’s eco-friendly values in your personal life? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter!

Image source: Paul Jessen

This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.

Why It’s Good

Tom's of Maine employees not only strive to create products that are environmentally friendly, but they also channel those company values into living an eco-friendly life at home. These practices are easy to implement at home and at work.