We all know that the responsibility of helping reduce waste and pollution rests squarely on our shoulders. But it can be difficult known where to start. Most, if not all of us, are aware of the 3 R’s, as Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, to help cut down on waste. This is one simple rule to follow that can help bring down your carbon footprint. Today I want to talk about how you can use these rules relative to the jewelry industry as most jewelry today carries a large carbon footprint.
This is step is easier said than done. When you think reduce, you can imagine yourself skipping that extra cup of coffee at Starbucks, or maybe even bringing a plastic cup instead to reduce waste, but this is harder to imagine with jewelry. Instead of looking for big and flashy designs, you can choose simpler designs. Simple designs take up less materials to make, which is already a step in the right direction. You can also choose designs that have ethical mining practices and sources. This is by far the hardest step as some companies will not be transparent with their sources, but if you aim to change the world sometimes you have to ready for research. You can also ask relatives for some of their older jewelry they no longer wear as a birthday present instead of gift card. I am sure your aunt has a pretty necklace stashed away in an old box, just full of stories to tell.
(Enji uses minimal designs to maintain a low carbon footprint while embodying elegance)
Jewelry can be made from many different materials and it is ok to get creative with it. You can reuse most types of cheaper or broken jewelry to create something elegant and chic. For example you can take an old necklace and repurpose it as a curtain wrap for a pop in decor. An old broach can make a chic belt buckle. A cute metal flower makes a pretty magnet. You can also use broken jewelry to decorate an old frame and create a one of a kind gift. Another way to reuse is to go to local pawn shops and find jewelry that has a unique stone of features and have jewelers make you a one of a kind piece from their parts. This will save you a few bucks while still saving the environment and you end up with a one of a kind piece of jewelry with lots of history.
(broken jewelry can make a one of a kind picture frame)
I personally love the idea of recycling older jewelry. An old necklace from your grandmother can become a beautiful engagement ring. How touching would it be to have a one of a kind jewelry piece forged from a loved one's jewelry, and to always have a part of them with you. If you do not have any broken or old jewelry to recycle, you can go to a pawn shop or thrift store to look for recyclable pieces. Recycling should be done with higher quality pieces that can be broken down and their parts used.
(Story of a diamond getting a new life)