If you are planning your wedding day and want to make it as environmentally friendly as possible, there are many options, but making sure your wedding rings are eco-friendly might not be the first thing that springs to mind. With issues around conflict diamonds and unsafe gold mining practices around the world, there are measures you can take to make sure your rings are produced in as safe and ecologically sound way as possible.
Sara from www.orlajames.com says ‘Finding that perfect ring can be a difficult choice, and eco-friendly alternative can be even harder. Luckily there are many different options and ideas to find a ring that your partner will love.’
Use a Fairtrade Gold jeweller
If you are having your rings made then look out for jewellers who work with Fairtrade Gold. This certification means the gold will have come from small-scale gold miners who are being supported with better working conditions, social support and better wages through the Fair Trade movement. By buying this gold for your rings, you will be helping to support the gold miners too. Small gold mines are among some of the most dangerous working environments in the world.
Use recycled jewellery to make your ring
For a really personal touch to your wedding day, why not recycle a piece of jewellery that belonged to your mother or grandmother and use the metal and stones from that to create your perfect, unique, family wedding ring, and contribute to helping the planet at the same time. Look out for a jeweller who offers this service.
Alternatively, search for a jeweller who only uses recycled or reclaimed materials to make their rings – you can recycle most of the precious metals including gold and titanium, and many jewellers who operate in this way also use recycled diamonds from vintage jewellery as well, so you know that your wedding ring will have great green credentials but it will also be entirely unique and bespoke to you.
Only use ethically sourced gemstones
If you are looking for a new ring, rather than one made from recycled materials, and you want to add some bling with gemstones, make sure you use a jeweller that guarantees their stones are all ethically sourced.
Diamonds are often labelled as non-conflict but research has proven it can be impossible to check that in many cases, so if you want total reassurance, ask your jewellers what their source is and look for a company that promotes the use of ethical sources.
Some jewellers even use laboratory-grown diamonds as an alternative to the natural mined versions, to ensure they are friendly to the environment and not putting people at risk in the mines.
If they are using ethical sources it means the diamonds are only coming from mines which follow very strict labour, work and safety standards to protect the workers. Ask the jeweller to demonstrate and prove their sources are ethical.
Choose a jeweller who handcrafts the rings locally
Another way to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding rings is to use a local craftsperson to make them for you by hand. Make sure they source ethical materials from within your country, to avoid the impact to the environment of having elements flown in as well. That way your ring will be made from recycled, local sources and crafted by hand to reduce its total impact on the environment.
The other advantage is you can have a say in the design and you know that your ring is completely one of a kind.
Opt for eco-friendly materials such as wooden rings
Another alternative to make your wedding rings more environmentally friendly is to opt for a completely different choice and go for rings made from sustainable wood instead of precious metal and gemstones. That way the impact on the environment is far less and your ring becomes a talking point about the environment wherever you go, to help spread the word. Plus, wood wedding rings are durable so you don’t have to worry about them breaking at any point.
Use vintage second-hand jewellery
If you want to be environmentally friendly without all the hassle of checking sources and getting rings made, then the easy option is to buy a second-hand or vintage wedding ring from a jeweller and avoid the impact on the environment of making one at all. There are many beautiful vintage styles to choose from and your ring will come with a ready-made story behind it as well.
As you can see, there are many different ways to ensure that your wedding rings are eco-friendly, whether you make a new one with Fairtrade gold and ethical diamonds, or you recycle old family jewellery into your own design, or you opt for a unique wooden ring, there is no reason you can’t ensure your wedding ring has strong green credentials of its own.