As people become more environmentally aware, eco-friendly options have become more widely popular. And jewelry is no exception! Traditional designs may use precious metals and gemstones that have negative impacts on our surroundings. But there are plenty of easy ways to incorporate more sustainable accessories. And kudos to you for getting a head-start with this ultimate guide to sustainable jewelry.
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1. The environmental harm of traditional jewelry production
Traditional jewelry production can have an immense environmental footprint. Mining of precious metals and gemstones often results in deforestation, water pollution and soil degradation. Even the production itself often generates large energy consumption that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
Gold mining in particular is notoriously harmful to the environment. Firstly, mining emits mercury which is an extremely toxic element which has been shown to cause neurological damage. Furthermore, the large scale removal of soil and rock from nearby waterways contributes to erosion and sedimentation issues.
But good news! There is a great alternative to mining for precious stones. And that is by purchasing lab-created jewelry. Not only is it sustainable jewelry, but it is extremely cost efficient. For example, my lab created jewelry engagement ring is 2.5 karats and cost $1,700. And yes – the diamonds on my ring are REAL. They just weren’t mined from the ground.
2. Simple swaps to reduce environmental impact
There are various easy changes you can make when shopping for jewelry to lessen its environmental impact. For example, choosing recycled or upcycled materials. Many eco-conscious jewelry brands now incorporate recycled metals and gems in their designs. This helps to reduce demand for newly mined resources.
One approach is to choose jewelry made of alternative materials. Wood and bamboo jewelry has become more widely popular due to their eco-friendliness and unique appearance. Both materials can also be replenished sustainably, reducing environmental impacts over time.
Ethically sourced diamonds make an excellent selection of eco-friendly jewelry. Gemstone mining may involve conflict zones or harmful practices that negatively impact both local communities and the environment. By selecting ethically sourced stones, you help to support responsible mining methods that protect both environmental health and labor standards.
3. Maintain your jewelry the right way
Once you’ve made the switch to ethically made jewelry pieces, it is crucial that they are cared for properly. This will extend their lifespan while decreasing wasteful replacement needs and costs. Below are tips for caring for sustainable jewelry properly.
1. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials
One essential step to protect sustainable jewelry is to avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials. For example, some cleaning solutions and soaps contain acids. Instead, opt for using a soft cloth and gentle soap when cleaning jewelry pieces made of materials like wood or delicate gemstones.
2. Store your jewelry properly
Proper jewelry storage can play an integral role in protecting its value. Store them somewhere dry and cool to avoid direct sunlight or extreme temperatures that might expose them, such as direct heat sources. This helps prevent discoloration or any potential damages to them.
Conclusion on this guide to sustainable jewelry
By making simple adjustments and caring for your jewelry properly, you can lower the environmental impact and support sustainable practices within the jewelry industry. From choosing eco-conscious brands or materials like recycled brass to selecting ethically-sourced gemstones there are multiple options for sustainable choices when accessorizing.
By purchasing environmentally sustainable jewelry, you’re helping support responsible practices within the industry while decreasing your environmental footprint. Remember – small choices still make a significant impact. Pair this with other easy eco-friendly habits, and you’re well on your way to living a sustainable life!
With some care and consideration, your jewelry could bring joy and beauty into your life for many years while simultaneously contributing towards a cleaner planet. So next time you add to your collection consider going green by choosing sustainable options instead!