Facial hair for forests: BeardsOn uses whiskers to raise money for planting trees
This Australian non-profit's campaign urges men to "unleash a beard" to "save the planet with your manhood."
Back in 2011, Jeff Kart wrote about Budweiser's beer beard campaign, but other than that, we don't often cover facial hair, while we do write about trees and forests (which is probably fair considering we're named TreeHugger, not BeardHugger). However, sometimes there's an opportunity to write about both, and as a bearded treehugger myself, I'll gladly connect the dots between beards and trees. OK, so beards and trees aren't necessarily connected in any obvious way, but an Australian non-profit, BeardsOn, is using men's facial hair and those who love it to raise money for tree planting, which is kind of like Movember, but for forests.
For 90 days this summer (actually winter, as this campaign originates in Australia), BeardsOn is running a campaign to "Save the planet with your manhood for future generations," and although saving the planet with your 'manhood' might be worthy of a giggle or two, rest assured that it's your beard, not your genitals, that's being referenced here.
From June 1st to August 31st, participants in the BeardsOn campaign will be ditching their razors and growing out their facial hair, which, aside from the earth-friendly savings in water, razors, electricity, and assorted shaving products, will also be used as the focus for conversations about conservation, as well as serving as a 'sponsored' feature for raising money for planting trees.
In 2014, the first year of the campaign, funds for 1,000 trees were raised, and the next year funds for 10,000 trees were raised. The organization is now shooting for one million trees, and starting in 2017, is partnering with the 4040 Rainforest Challenge, which is aiming to plant 40 million trees by 2040.
Yes, BeardsOn is kind of gimmicky, as it's certainly possible to plant trees, donate to tree planting efforts, and otherwise 'save the planet' without growing a beard or participating in a 90-day challenge, but where's the fun in that? In the same way that growing a mustache for Movember, if you've never grown one before, can open up opportunities for conversations about men's health and prostate cancer, the BeardsOn campaign can be an icebreaker for talking about forests and trees, and it also gives you a great excuse for growing a beard. More info is available at BeardsOn.