Jewelry can make a great gift, a statement, or a finishing touch on an outfit. Unfortunately, many methods for making jewelry involve dirty politics and high costs for the environment. Below you will find some tips to make your next jewelry memorable, ethical, and sustainable.
Question 1: Do you really need it?
Jewelry is one of those things that is rarely actually needed, so it would be a good idea to separate your wants from your needs. If you buy unnecessary jewelry then natural resources are wasted in its making. Furthermore, the mining of precious metals is a key player in environmental and health impacts. In addition, some metals, such as diamonds are notoriously associated with slave labor and funding violence in Africa.
Question 2: Can you buy used?
Just like with anything else, buying used jewelry helps diminish harmful environmental impact. Not to mention antique and vintage pieces make beautiful and timeless statements. Websites such as Etsy sell antique jewelry so you can conveniently reduce your carbon footprint by shopping online. Or, you can visit your local vintage shop and help the local economy. Either way, buying used jewelry is a good investment.
Question 3: How was it made?
Inquiring about the production of a piece is particularly important when buying jewelry. Were the methods as environmentally friendly as possible? Is it fair trade certified so the artisans get fair pay? Are the metals recycled and thus not supporting dirty gold or diamonds? All of the aforementioned questions are important, because at the end of the day you want to know where your money is going.
Question 4: Is the jewelry easy to maintain?
Think about the cleaning methods needed to maintain jewelry. Are there eco friendly solutions you can use? Furthermore, contemplate how you can recycle an heirloom if it is no longer needed or wanted. For instance you can resell it and make sure that no human rights needed to be violated in the making of another piece.
Question 5: How is it packaged or shipped?
Packaging and shipping has as much to do with ethical and sustainable purchases as the product itself. The materials used to package a product in addition to the fuel needed to ship it can also make quite a dent in the environment. Try shopping online or find eco conscious individuals who sell jewelry.
By purchasing ethical and sustainable jewelry, you will not only have a great accessory you will also have a conversation piece. Purchasing jewelry in this way is just one of the many ways you can help spread a green living message and protect the earth.
The Daily Green