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Green Summer Travel Destinations

Lately we’ve heard a lot about how hard it is to travel “green” — between burning fossil fuels, food waste, and pollution, the environmentally minded person may have trouble planning a getaway. But take heart! It is possible to have a great summer vacation and help the Earth at the same time.

There’s no place like home. Chances are, there is plenty going on in your home area that you’ve never taken the time to explore! Have you kayaked all of your local lakes or rivers and seen your area from a totally different perspective? Walked all the trails? Explored all your local historic sites, farms, or arts venues? We didn’t think so! Make a list of 25 things in your area you’ve never done — and spend a week exploring a new world!

Ride the rails. Rail trails are spreading like wildfire! Leave the car behind and spend a weekend or more riding one of  the amazing rail trails across the country. Many trails have snack bars or restaurants, inns, and bike shops along the route, making the trail a destination in itself.

All aboard Amtrak. We don’t want to give free advertising, but Amtrak is our only national passenger rail service provider. Trains are far more environmentally friendly than driving or flying, and you can go from coast to coast. Plan a trip around the train — from Montreal to Santa Fe, we know you’ll find someplace you want to explore.

Go off the grid. Tent camping is the greenest way to vacation — and may be the best way to appreciate the energy-gobbling luxuries we enjoy every other week of the year (like hot water, air conditioning, and central heat).  Spend a week sleeping under the stars and you’ll be that much more aware of the fragile beauty and peace of our natural world.

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WeWOOD Makes List for Top 10 Green Gifts for Grads

Dallas, T.X.® featured WeWOOD in its top 10 list of green gifts for 2016 graduates! Each product in the top 10 list is something many graduates could use – especially those living on their own for the first time – and all have an eco-friendly edge. wants to highlight the green steps many companies, small and large, are taking to become more sustainable and Earth-friendly. WeWOOD and its green grad gift are a great fit for this list, as it can help new graduates embark on their new chapter in life without creating a larger carbon footprint.

We all need help sometimes – adults too. For parents and family with graduates entering college or the workforce, this list has great options that anyone would be excited to receive.

To look at all 10 green grad gifts and to learn more about each company, visit:

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Success Stories: Reforesting in Argentina

WeWOOD is proud to support reforestation projects all over the globe—from Alaska to Zimbabwe, China to Peru. One little-known region where we support re-forestation—the planting and regeneration of sustainable native forests—is the Chaco of Argentina. With 85% of this original region now deforested, the Chaco is in environmental crisis.

While you’ve probably never heard of it, the Gran Chaco Ecosystem is a vast region that overlaps northern Argentina, western Paraguay and southeastern Bolivia, covering nearly 1 million kilometers. The Chaco represents the largest dry forest (as opposed to rainforest) ecosystem in South America and is the second largest forested ecosystem in South America after the Amazon rainforest. Along with supporting nearly 4 million people, the Chaco is home to 3,400 species of plants and 150 mammals, including the jaguar, the giant armadillo, the capybara, and the maned wolf.

The main threat to the forests of the Argentinian Chaco is deforestation for ranching, fuel, and farming. Along with destroying the natural habitat of wildlife, unsustainable farming practices cause formerly fertile forest soil to become barren desert and increase salinization in the soil and flooding. Working with local non-profit environmental organizations, WeWOOD has funded the planting of 1,000 trees in the Argentinian Chaco with the goal of bringing environmental balance back to this vitally important region.


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Top Gifts for an Eco-Conscious Valentine

Top Gifts for an Eco-Conscious Valentine

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time of year to remind your eco-conscious loved one just how much they mean to you. You can make the day memorable by planning a special event or meal together and scoring a unique, interesting, and useful eco-friendly gift to offer. Thanks to the ever-growing eco-conscious industry, it should be pretty easy to find something green for your Valentine that meets their specific needs and wants. While organic cotton robes and flowers are always nice, consider kicking things up a notch and really impressing your Valentine with one or more of the ideas Modernize suggests below:

A Wooden Watch

Wooden watches make an awesome Valentine’s Day gift for a variety of reasons. A wooden watch is the gift that keeps on giving all year long, and your loved one is sure to think of you every time they look to see what time it is throughout the day. Consider one of the following options available at WeWood:

Kappa Nut Rough – features multi-function Miyota movement, scratch-proof mineral glass, and made of 100 percent walnut wood.
Leo Terra – boasts brushed leather bands, a hardened glass finish, and a striking color scheme.
Kardo – includes a toxin-free build, includes hypoallergenic material, and has a fully adjustable wristband.

One special feature of the WeWood brand is that the company plants a new tree every time a watch is sold, so you’re really getting your Valentine two gifts in one by choosing a wooden watch this year.


An Indoor Herb Garden

Everyone can enjoy an indoor herb garden, whether it’s mom cooking a family meal in the kitchen, or dad grilling up some barbecue in the backyard. By gifting your Valentine with an indoor herb garden, you’ll be giving a gift of bounty that the whole family will benefit from.

You can put together an indoor herb garden package by investing in three to five gardening pots that will fit on your Valentine’s kitchen windowsills, one cubic foot of soil, and a small container of herb fertilizer granules. Place the items in a wicker basket along with a new set of garden gloves, some herb seed packets (consider basil, thyme, rosemary, and garlic chives), and a new kitchen apron to top things off. Your valentine can plant the herbs right in the kitchen and enjoy watching them grow near the windows.

A Personal Body Massage

Another fun and eco-friendly way to show your love this Valentine’s Day is to offer your loved one a coupon for a full body massage on Valentine’s evening. Buy some herbal massage oil and turn on some relaxing music, then settle in for the night with a few candles, some chocolate, and your newly learned massage techniques. To gain some new tips and tricks for massaging, visit your local library and bring a book with photos home to use as a guide for the night.


These eco-conscious gift ideas are sure to be a hit with your loved one this Valentine’s Day and will offer benefits to take advantage of many months, if not years, afterward. There’s never been a better time since WeWood is offering a Valentine’s Day promotion of FREE STANDARD SHIPPING (US CONTINENTAL ONLY) for all full priced watches and we include a free link removal tool as well until the end of the 14th!

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Reclaimed Wood: Where Does it Come From?

During the Industrial Revolution, much of North America was deforested as the population exploded and spread west. The original old-growth forests, comprised of massive trees hundreds of years old, were cleared for agriculture and used for fuel and building. Today, many of the buildings built with those old growth trees, including barns, warehouses, and mills, are still standing and are now being used as sources for reclaimed wood. Other sources for old wood include boat yards, packing crates, and Western snow fences.

Builders love reclaimed wood for many reasons, the primary reason being that it is no longer possible to create beams and planks as massive as the ones hewed from old growth trees!  One of the most sought after reclaimed woods is long-leaf yellow pine, which could live to be 400 years old, grew naturally tall and perfectly straight and was natural resistant to insects and mold.

Reclaimed wood is usually easy to identify by size alone—original old-growth beams can be five feet thick and 100 feet long and contains nails, markings, and other signs of character, including warping and deep color from exposure to sun and air.

Redwoods (sequoia) are another beloved reclaimed wood that was used in factories and barns, particularly on the West Coast. Another sought-after reclaimed wood is the American Chestnut, which was obliterated in a blight that started in 1904.  Reclaimed American Chestnut is rare—some reclaimed chestnut even has worm tracks that indicate the tree died from the encroaching blight.

At WeWOOD, we are proud to use reclaimed wood scraps to create our environmentally friendly wooden watches.


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The Woods in Winter: What to Look For

If you plan to spend the winter sitting by a cozy fire with a good book—you’ll be missing out! While the woods in spring, summer, and fall are vibrant with growth and change, the woods in winter have their own special beauty. This winter, make a special effort to venture into the woods in the quiet season for a totally different woods experience.

One of the best things about the woods in winter is tracking. In summer, woodland creatures rarely leave a trace of where they have been—other than the occasional droppings—but in new snow, you can see exactly what has been happening on the forest floor! Tracking is best on a cold, calm day after a fresh snowfall. Head out early in the day before tracks have a chance to melt or become disturbed by human or pet traffic. Look for the little trails running from tree to tree that signifies the presence of squirrels, weasels or other rodents. You may even see signs of an owl or a hawk swooping down to pluck a rodent from the snow.

Another sign of wildlife in winter is the tunnels smaller animals make in the snow—giving them safe cover from predators in the winter! Look closely for tracks leading into openings in the snow—you may see telltale signs of droppings or nuts and seeds along with tracks. If you put your hand in the opening, you may even be able to detect the animal’s warmth in the tunnel!

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The Amazing Date Palm

If you’ve ever seen a picture of a classic desert oasis—including the famous manger scene in Bethlehem—you’ve probably seen a depiction of a date palm. Fossil records show that these amazing trees have existed on the earth for 50 million years.

The date palm is one the earliest known cultivated plants, having been farmed for more than 4,000 years throughout the Middle East, from Egypt and Mesopotamia and in the Indus Valley in India. Because of its ability to produce nutritious fruit, survive with little water, and produce sends that can last hundreds of years, the date palm became a staple of the ancient world. In more modern times, explorers and traders brought the date palm to the New World—Spanish traders are said to have brought the date palm to what is now California in the 1700s.

The date palm is valued chiefly for its fruit, the date. Dates are an excellent source of potassium and also contain protein and fiber. Dates have high sugar content as well, which may account for their enduring popularity in fruitcake. In Islam, dates are traditionally the first food eaten to break the fast of Ramadan.

The beautiful fronds of the date palm have also secured a place in history. Christians traditionally use the fronds on Palm Sunday, while Jews use the palm fronds to build shelters on the holiday of Sukkot. In Northern Africa, date palm fronds are used in housing.

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The Great Christmas Tree Debate

At WeWOOD, we really love trees. During the holidays, we think about the smell of a balsam fir, the look of shiny holly leaves, and the glow of a wooden menorah. When it comes to Christmas trees, we can see both sides of the age old debate: which is better, a real tree or an artificial tree? Ultimately it comes down to personal taste, but consider the pros and cons of each before you decide.

Real Trees
PROS: For young children, nothing beats the experience of going out to the Christmas tree farm, finding the perfect tree, and bringing it home on the car (or in the city, having it delivered!). Many local nonprofits sell trees as fundraisers, and Christmas tree farming is a large sustainable (and organic!) crop in the US and Canada, supporting thousands of family farms. Plus, Christmas trees can be recycled!

CONS: Real trees tend to dry out after a few weeks and require daily watering. Removal can be messy, and occasionally, real trees come with unexpected guests (like in Christmas Vacation)!

Artificial Trees
PROS: Artificial trees are easier on the budget—you only have to buy it once (as long as you don’t lose any parts!)—and you don’t have to water them, pick up pine needles, or deal with sap dripping onto your rug. Some people feel fire-resistant artificial trees are safer to have in the house, and allergy sufferers may breathe easier without a tree in the house. Also, today’s new trees look a lot like the real thing.

CONS: Artificial trees lack the beautiful scent, they can’t be recycled when you’re done with them, and, face it, getting the tree out of the closet is just not as much fun as trekking through the snow.

Whichever tree works for your family, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

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5 Things We’re Grateful for this Holiday Season

This year, we have a lot of be grateful for—especially when we feel overwhelmed by sobering news both at home and around the world. It is important to step back and think about everything we take for granted, so here are the five things we are most thankful for this holiday season.

1. Peace. We are grateful to live in a nation where we don’t have to fear daily violence or a government collapse. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are.

2. Water. Much of the world—and now parts of our own country, particularly in California—struggle with a lack of clean and safe water every day. Make this your year to think about water use and how you can help reduce use in your community.

3. Freedom. While the price of a democracy is the seemingly endless torture of debates and campaign ads, we are grateful that unlike in dictatorships or war-torn nations,  we do have a choice (don’t forget to vote!).

4. Food. Our food supply becomes more diverse every year—we’ve come a long way since the days when everyone thought fast food was a great way to eat! Farm to table, local, and artisanal movements are revolutionizing the food industry.

5. Safety. The past year has seen serious issues between police and urban communities. Despite these terrible tragedies, most Americans live in safe communities protected by dedicated and selfless police men and women—and we’re grateful to them.

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5 Forests to Visit Before They’re Gone

1. The Michoacán Highlands of Mexico. These mountains are home to the amazing Monarch butterfly, which migrates 3,000 miles from North American meadows to the Mexican cloud forests. Due to deforestation, the winter home of this fragile butterfly is being slowly destroyed, and the Monarch is now considered endangered. Recent joint efforts by conservation groups and the Mexican government are working to restore and preserve the cloud forest.

2. Madagascar. Unlike in the movie, where a posse of runaway zoo animals found a safe haven on this vast African island, the real Madagascar is seriously threatened by logging. Many of the totally unique species that live here are endangered, and logging also threatens the fresh water supply of the population.

3. California Floristic Province. While some redwood forests have been preserved, the overwhelming development and needs of the population in California have left only a fraction of the mighty redwood forests intact. Air pollution now threatens the redwoods protected in state and national parks and forests.

4. The South American Atlantic Forest. While we’ve all heard of the Amazon rainforest, this critical coastal zone, running from Brazil to Argentina, is being eroded by coffee and sugar plantations.

5. The Sundaland Forests. Encompassing the habitats of the famous orangutans of Borneo and the endangered Asian Rhino, only 7% of the original forest region of the Indo-Malayan Archipelago remains. Logging and illegal trade in animal parts has put this forest at extreme risk.