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Make your preening routine green

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(ARA) - Starting an environmentally friendly routine at home is a goal for many families who are concerned with reducing their environmental footprints. The age-old reduce, reuse and recycle mantra is a great start, but what many don't know is that there are also simple changes you can make to your health and beauty routine that can make a big impact on the environment. Who knew "green" preening could be so easy?

In addition to finding beauty products you love, you can also support brands that promote sustainable living. As Earth Day approaches on April 22, consider making changes in your health and beauty care routines that will help reduce your environmental footprint. It's the small changes you make that can lead to a big environmental impact.

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

* Products that are offered in bulk - Buying products you frequently use - like skin lotion or tooth paste - in bulk sizes helps you to reduce the amount of packaging that ends up being thrown away or recycled. And not only does it help you reduce your waste, but buying bulk also tends to provide better savings. When shopping, however, only bulk up on items you use frequently enough, so you won't end up with any spoiling before you use it.

* Packaging that's a little easier on the environment - Purchasing products packaged in a sustainable manner is a good way to help reduce your environmental footprint. For example, the Pantene Nature Fusion collection is packaged in renewable, sugarcane-based plastic, helping to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Both the Pantene Nature Fusion shampoo and conditioner bottles reduce the use of fossil fuels by more than 70 percent versus traditional petroleum-based plastics, and release up to 170 percent fewer greenhouse gasses in the manufacturing process. But you don't have to sacrifice beauty to be eco-savvy - the collection combines Pro-V science with naturally derived cassia to give your hair healthy strength and shine.

* Eco-conscious manufacturers - Many manufacturers of health and beauty products are becoming more conscience of how these products are developed. For example, some companies like P&G are developing techniques to reuse waste in the manufacturing process, combining reduce, reuse and recycle into one process. And many companies are adopting environmentally friendly manufacturing processes that help to reduce energy usage and use more renewable energy sources.

* Good things in smaller packages - Concentrated or condensed products allow you to purchase smaller quantities in smaller packages, resulting in less waste that end up being recycled or thrown away. In addition, concentrated products in smaller packages allow more packages per truck shipment, helping to reduce the environmental impact in the shipping industry. This helps to reduce the product's footprint before it even reaches the store shelves. Do a little research to see if your makeup or lotion brands offer a concentrated option, so you can put the mantra, "a little dab will do you," to good use.

For more tips on how you can add more sustainable practices to your health and beauty routine, or other areas of your home, visit www.facebook.com/futurefriendly. You'll discover how small changes in your daily preening can really make a significant change.