What is eco friendly jewelry?
Do you know how much energy goes into making a diamond ring, a silver necklace or a gold bracelet? Most jewelry is not just formed into a shape and fitted together; a lot of energy is used just to obtain precious metals and gemstones.
At a typical gold mine, extreme measures are used to find the valuable metal. Mercury or cyanide is applied to the ore to make the gold dissolve into solution, but this chemical “leaching” can have detrimental effects on the surrounding environment. In open pit mining, a large hole is dug to get to the gold ore. Dynamite is also often used to find gold. All of this displacement of earth effects the environment. On average, 400 tons of rock is dug up – and only 4 ounces of gold is found in that rock. Similar mining methods are used to find diamonds and other precious metals.
So how much energy is needed just to make a diamond ring? How much environmental destruction will still have to happen to obtain more gold, silver and gemstones?
As stewards of the environment, we can choose to buy and wear eco friendly jewelry. But what exactly makes a “green” piece of jewelry?
Ethically and Sustainably Mined
Most big industry mining businesses want only to obtain as much precious metals and stones and possible, leaving the local environment polluted and the local people angry. Recent stories have made many aware of the ‘blood diamonds’ that are obtained by forcing slaves to mine for them. But not all gemstones and metals are found this way. Some companies focus on sustainable mining; mining that takes into account the health of the environment and the local people. Dynamite and toxic chemicals are not used, and earth is displaced in a way that causes the least amount of disruption. Slave labor is never used, and the mining operation benefits the local people.
Jewelry that uses recycled materials
More and more artisans are utilizing recycled glass bottles, plastics, wires and pretty much anything else you can think of. Glass from colorful glass bottles can be turned into beads or melted down to produce a unique shape. Plastics can be creatively combined to form a earring loop. Even broken vintage pottery chards can be reshaped and polished to make a beautiful pendant.
Instead of purchasing brand new precious metal jewelry, check out the jewelry that has been made from recycled gold and silver. Gold and silver
from old, unwanted jewelry, wiring or anything else made of the desired metal can be melted down and reformed into any shape. Jewelry from recycled metals looks and is exactly the same as other jewelry, and if often less expensive. Cash4Gold and Cash4Silver are businesses that collect old unwanted jewelry and silverware.
Buy Fair Trade Jewelry
Fair Trade jewelry is a great way to support artisans from around the world, and also know they are getting paid a fair ware for their work. Fair trade items are usually made from local, sustainable and eco friendly materials. To learn more about what makes something and Fair Trade item, read about Fair Trade Clothing.
Check out all sorts of eco friendly jewelry from necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings, at Apparel & Accessories Page – Jewelry.
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