For anyone who is keen to minimize their environmental impact on the planet – jewelry can be a tricky area. After all there’s no essential need for that necklace or silver ring, but lets face it we all need cheering up sometimes. So perhaps you’ve decided you might want a new gold or silver piece of jewelry – how can you reduce the impact of your purchase?
Well of course the obvious first question is regarding the raw materials – the metals used. Mining for silver and gold can cause huge environmental impact if it’s not done properly. There are many jewelers who try and use only recycled silver for example. These come from secondary refiners who deal with recycled and scrap silver from other sources other than directly from a mine.
It is difficult to check the origin of precious metals though and it’s unlikely you can guarantee the origin of any item completely. Silver to use our example is often mined as a by product of industrial mining of other products. Most commonly the production of copper and zinc will produce a certain amount of silver ore as a by product.
The reality is though that if everyone only used recycled silver then the price would soon explode to an unsustainable level. However there is another option that probably has the minimal impact on the environment. That is simply to look at the many sources of antique jewelry in existence. There are stockists who deal in antique silver items for example, like this place – http://anythingsilver.org/ whose environmental impact is long since passed.
Using existing items means there’s no requirement for raw materials, no production impact from mining or producing the item. It of course is dependent on finding the right piece but this can normally done from the comfort of your home and an internet enabled laptop. It’s an attitude that’s growing in popularity, if you look across the world’s media sites then you’ll see this for yourself. There’s many more shows about reducing your effect on the environment, there’s even quite a few on Canadian TV – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REwJq5iQn0Q, and also surprisingly in the US.