It is increasingly popular for everyone to be careful with our environment, and this comes across in all walks of life. Whether it is the clothes that you wear, food that you eat, or the amount of plastic that you use, or even your jewellery, a lot of us are trying to have a significant impact to help preserve our planet. When it comes to jewellery, the process of extracting the gemstones and precious metals can have a devastating effect on the environment. Below is what you can do to remain eco-friendly, even when you are wearing exquisite jewellery.
Artisanal mining and small-scale mining operations you can find in over 80 countries around the world, and the total amount of people doing this type of mining far outweighs the giant mining corporations. However small these operations might be, they do contribute significantly to the precious gems and metals that are mined each year. Around 20% of the gold and diamonds extracted from the ground and approximately 80% of the sapphires come from artisanal and small-scale mining operations. These operations often provide a much-needed livelihood for people who would otherwise struggle, but they also often operate under the radar from the relevant regulatory organisations.
The Environmental Impact
Often with smaller mining operations, they will use harmful chemicals which can get into the water table and cause many different problems for the local population and wildlife. Gold is especially bad as there are a lot of independent miners that will use mercury and arsenic during the cleanup process. As well as this, there is also the impact that a mine can have on the local ecosystem. Often massive swathes of land will be cleared of all vegetation and dug out to get to the gold-rich pay dirt, and when they get down to bedrock, they move onto the next area, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. Not all mining operations are like this, especially in countries that have great regulatory bodies and not as much corruption.
How To Combat It
One way that you can combat the impact of small-scale and artisanal mining is to reuse gold and gemstones. You can do this by checking out the vintage jewellery dealers on LoveAntiques.com, and purchase something that has some history. This will help to reduce the demand for these precious gemstones and metals. You can wear the piece as you bought it, or recycle it into a modern design, and do you bit for the planet while still being able to enjoy a bit of bling.
When it comes to purchasing jewellery, it is common for people to not even think about where the gold or diamonds has come from, and how they were mined. It is only recently with the banning of conflict diamonds that the world has sat up and noticed. If we all do a little bit, we can make a massive difference. Next time you are considering buying yourself some beautiful jewellery, consider going vintage or antique instead. You will get something that not only has character but a little bit of history as well.
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