Now through December 30, eco-friendly watch maker WeWOOD is running a #TreeFreeHoliday campaign, aimed at educating people on the importance of saving trees and planting new ones.
"We [hope to] encourage our fans and Instagram users to post photos of the creative ways they decorate for the holidays without using a real tree,” said co-founder Daniele Guidi. “For every photo submission we receive, we will plant a tree."
WeWOOD — founded in 2010 with the goal of combining luxury fashion accessories with environmental sustainability — makes its watches from sustainable materials including scrap wood and cotton fibers, and plants one tree for every item sold.
While the campaign goal is 1,000 photo submissions and thus trees planted, WeWOOD knows that the need for tree planting around the world far exceeds that number. According to statistics, more than 33 million Christmas trees are cut down and sold in the United States alone each year, as opposed to only 9.5 million artificial trees used. WeWOOD hopes to encourage people to find other creative ways to decorate for the holidays, such as using artificial trees, trees made from recyclable materials, and other alternatives. People of all cultures, religious backgrounds, and lifestyles are encouraged to participate — as long as photos do not include any trees that have been cut down or removed from nature. The campaign's tagline is "You save a tree, we will plant another."
The tree-planting aspect of the #TreeFreeHoliday campaign will be handled by WeWOOD's partner Trees for the Future, a non-profit organization based out of Silver Springs, Maryland.
Another aspect of holiday revelry that people should be more aware of is the amount of hazardous chemicals in string lights, garlands and dozens of other popular holiday decorations. A research study released this week by HealthyStuff.org found that many of the seasonal holiday products tested — including beaded and tinsel garlands, artificial wreaths and greenery, stockings, figurines and other tabletop decorations, and gift bags — were found to contain a multitude of toxic contaminants. Holiday shoppers still looking for decorations and other gift ideas would do well to consider products’ chemical footprints.