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Christmas Ornaments Crafted from Pine Beetle Damaged Wood Makes a Sustainable Gift Idea That Also Supports Women in the DTES

VO's recommended Christmas gift is made from pine-beetle affected wood that comes from the forests near Whistler and has been transformed into a beautiful ornament by women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

"The women who craft these delicate ornaments are part of a social enterprise that trains and employs women in carpentry," says Saul Brown, a North American Sales Representative at Saul Good Gift Co. working together with Tradeworks Custom Products.

With this program and craftwork ready for them to show their talents and gain confidence in the workforce, they stand up above the crowd and work their magic to shed a little Christmas light on us all. Each are individually crafted made at a custom woodworking shop in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

These unique items are $20, each with its own flavor and charm. "The different ornaments take different amounts of time. Some are cut out fully on the laser engraver and others involve more hand work, gluing on intricate pieces. I help corporate clients with their orders through Saul Good Gift Co. All the items we sell have a story about health, community and the environment, all things good. It’s Saul Good. We’ve been working with Tradeworks for 2 years now helping them develop new products, gain FSC (sustainable) forestry certification and sell and market their products."

Like most ornaments, their uniqueness adds an extra fragile nature to it. With pine beetle wood ornaments’ intricate laser cut sections, the pieces could last awhile if cared for. An added bonus is the padded gift box given after buying 4 ornaments, to be ready and stored for years to come.

"Empowerment and hope are symbolic in these works of art. The ornaments have been made by women learning carpentry skills in the downtown eastside using wood salvaged from the pine beetle epidemic in BC. By learning new skills, gaining experience and producing beautiful products, the women of Tradeworks gain confidence and self esteem while they work to improve their lives. The pine beetle epidemic is devastating the forests of BC, and using the wood that has been affected by the infestation makes the most of a challenging situation."

This Christmas, add a little more BC-ness to your tree and help support a "sustainable gift option."  

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