We get it, a shiny new piece of jewelry is an exciting gift to receive, whether you buy it yourself or it is bought by someone else. There are few better feelings than showing off a beautiful necklace or a glimmering pair of earrings to fellow jewelry lovers and finding the perfect piece can be a real rush. Despite its beauty, much of the new jewelry being manufactured contributes significantly to global waste and pollution. Mining for precious metals and stones is relatively unregulated, allowing for massive amounts of pollution and waste to be created, completely unchecked. The gold and diamond industries, in particular, are guilty of using wasteful and unsustainable techniques to collect materials.
Rather than purchasing a new piece of jewelry next time you are craving a shiny fix, consider visiting a consignment, thrift, or antique store! Purchasing jewelry that has already been created will not contribute to the current demand for new jewelry, and you’ll feel a little better knowing your new piece didn’t require any new waste to be made.
Did you know…
- 20 tons of waste are produced for every ounce of gold
- Typical gold mines use nearly 2,000 tons of cyanide every year
- Miners are often forced to work in unsafe conditions for little pay while executives and mine owners continue to expand profits
- Metals are virtually infinitely recyclable, so if you have pieces you no longer want, consider bringing them to local jewelers to be melted and made into something new