for me, valentine’s day has always been more about paper hearts and chocolate than fancy jewelry or red roses. i’m really more of a wildflower girl anyway. but it’s the jewelry that i’ve really been thinking about lately.
in january, national geographic published an article about the environmental and human costs of our global obsession with gold. as the price of gold soars, the cost to the people who mine it and the land that is mined, is soaring too.
this valentine’s day i’m hoping more for sunshine and dessert than jewelry, but for friends who might have other ambitions, i thought i’d suggest a few places to look for alternative ways to accessorize.
the “no dirty gold” campaign has gotten a whole list of leading jewelry retailers to agree to stop selling gold from mines that cause extensive social and environmental damage. check out these retailers and decide to buy from a place that you know has taken the pledge. visit this fantastic blog for more details about ethical jewelry practices.
even better than this though: support independent artists! etsy has tons of handmade up-cycled and recycled wares that i think are lovely alternatives to jewelry that might have considerably more dubious origins.
and of course there’s always vintage jewelry. most independent jewelers will recast old metals, so if the ring your grandmother passed on to you doesn’t suit your fancy, you might be able to use the gold or silver to make something that works better for you.