Can Wooden Watches Save the Planet?

by Art Gib, freelance writer on behalf of Little Green Me ( 28-Dec-2011 )

There’s a growing movement amongst the manufacturers and creators of jewelry, accessories, and personal hygiene products. For many, the aim is to bring products to market that not only look, feel, and work well, but are also eco-friendly. The goals are to produce products that are sustainably sourced, responsibly harvested, and made with as low a carbon footprint as possible. From wood watches to organic body crèmes, it’s getting easier and easier to look good without contributing to the pollution of the earth.

The key, of course, is essentially the old pioneer proverb, “Use it up; wear it out; make do or do without.” We throw away so much usable stuff every year that could be turned into other useful items, and those who have the vision want to reduce that waste while appealing to the masses. Candy wrappers, scrap wood, broken glass; you name it, someone will be trying to come up with a way to keep it out of the dump and put it to good use. Others source their ingredients or supplies from small growers who are practicing environmentally supportable methods. By keeping those smaller growers in business, all of us benefit.

So far, a lot of people have turned up their noses at these types of products, and usually it’s been because the products themselves were inferior in quality to already established brands. But eco-friendly quality has come a long way. Sometimes it’s education that inspires a young artist to find a way to fill a niche, challenging himself to invent something people will want to buy not out of a sense of guilt but because the product itself is beautiful, useful, desirable, etc. With thousands of these young, entrepreneurial spirits hitting the workplace, driven by a sense of responsibility and gratitude for the earth, things just keep getting better and better. In the process, old and young alike are having their eyes opened to the possibilities.

For example, let’s say a watch maker has decided to use wood rather than metal for watchbands. He decides that the wood will need to be sustainably sourced, exquisitely crafted, and reasonably priced. Buyers will be informed that their purchases support tree planting by the watchmaker and his partners. The buyer walks away with a uniquely handcrafted accessory that they can feel proud of in several ways. The same goes for handbags, jewelry, clothing, home décor, and personal hygiene products, to name only a few. Innovators and earth conscious consumers can work together for the good of the planet. Whether it’s wood watches or scented candles, there is no limit to what is possible.

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