Here are on TreeHugger, mining for gold has been a topic of discussion and we once reported that eight of the world's top jewelry retailers pledged to stay away from "dirty gold." After reading about Rust Belt jewelry, we went on their website and learned about some scary facts:
- Gold mining accounts for 10% of the world's energy consumption.
- To produce enough gold for 1 ring, about 18 tons of waste ore are created.
- Every year, mines in the U.S. generate an amount of solid waste equivalent in weight to nearly 9 times the trash produced by all U.S. cities & towns combined.
- Smelting, a form of extractive metallurgy, adds about 142 million tons of sulfur dioxide to the atmosphere every year.
- To extract gold or silver from the ore, the ore is crushed, piled into huge heaps, and sprayed with cyanide. As it leaches through the mine waste, acid liberates various metals from the rock, including arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead.
So why is it that Rust Belt jewelry has these facts on their site? Designers Anna Bario and Page Neal realized that this luxury industry they worked in was causing some serious negative environmental and social impacts. So for every piece from their Alluvial Collection they use repurposed materials. We really like the Sisal necklace (shown above), four enameled chains that loop through handmade, textured sterling. Also worth a mention: their packaging consists of re-purposed glass bottles. Thanks for the tip, Heidi B.! Via ::Daily Candy ::Rust Belt