People have finally started to realize, on a large scale, that we are quickly ruining the planet and have decided to do something about it. Fuel-efficient cars are becoming the norm, recycling programs exist in almost every city in the country, and aerosol sprays are becoming a thing of the past. So what about your jewelry? Are you going green with it as well?
Eco-friendly jewelry is becoming increasing popular. The premise behind it is pretty straight-forward. Making jewelry from precious metals and gems requires that they be extracted from the earth. Some times, extraction means injecting chemicals into the rock to free up the desired metal or gem, leaving the chemical to seep into the Earth. Surface mines, where they exist, leave deep ugly scars on the face of the planet, and can take decades to recover ecologically even after the mining has stopped.
So people are taking it upon themselves to discourage mining by investing in eco-friendly jewelry. This is a broad term, and so is its definition, but the idea is really very simple. Instead of digging new metals and gems out of the ground, let’s take advantage of what’s already here and put it to good use again. In some cases, that means recycling vintage or heirloom jewelry, salvaging parts of scrap jewelry to be used in new pieces, and even using recycled materials like aluminum, plastic, and glass to fabricate wearable art.
The idea isn’t really new. It’s been around for generations. What is new is the extent to which this latest craze has taken off. It’s actually more of a trend than a fad. Recycled jewelry can be very fashionable. It doesn’t have to look like a bunch of junk glued together. Heirloom jewelry is one perfect way to wear gorgeous pieces without looking trashy. These are usually pieces of jewelry that have been handed down from generations, and are not only stunning, but unique as well.
New eco-friendly jewelry takes advantage of such things as hemp, cotton, and woven hair for bracelets and necklaces instead of metal. Artists are popping up everywhere that make stunning pendants and pins made from recycled materials, especially glass and wood. A lot of recycled metals are being used to accent pieces that are made of recycled wood, plastic, or other more lustrous recycled metals like copper and stainless steel.
If you like the idea of eco-friendly jewelry, but just can’t live without your fancy gems, consider pearls or lab-created gemstones. Pearls are naturally formed from mollusks, and these mollusks are “farmed” today, meaning that they live in large beds that are carefully monitored to keep out pollutants that could possibly harm their crop. It’s essentially renewable jewelry. Also, lab-created gems don’t require surface or deep-earth mining, and in many cases don’t require any part of the actual gemstone at all, and are flawless when made. So dig out grandma’s jewelry, or head down to the local artists’ district in your town, and discover a whole new, self-indulging way to save the planet. Choose eco-friendly jewelry.