Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

100+ Jewelers Say ‘No’ to Dirty Gold For Valentine’s Day

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, more than 100 of the world’s leading jewelry retailers—including eight of the top 10 in the U.S.—have committed to more responsible metals sourcing by signing the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules.

“Dirty gold just isn’t romantic,” said Payal Sampat of Earthworks’ No Dirty Gold campaign. “Retailers don’t want consumers to associate gold jewelry with polluted rivers and child labor, and they are joining us in calling on the mining industry to clean up its act.”

The Golden Rules are based on broadly accepted international human rights laws and basic principles of sustainable development, including respect for workers’ rights and protection of ecologically sensitive areas.

“We believe that socially and environmentally responsible jewelry should be widely available to consumers,” said Brilliant Earth co-founder Beth Gerstein. “We want to reduce the need for dirty mining of precious metals. That’s why we signed the No Dirty Gold campaign’s Golden Rules. And that’s why we use only recycled and ethically produced metals.”

Gold mining is one of the world’s most destructive industries. Producing a single gold ring creates at least 20 tons of mine waste. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data show that metal mining is the largest toxic polluter in the U.S. Around the world, mining has been linked to human rights abuses, perpetual water pollution, destroyed wildlands and long-term health impacts.

Valentine’s Day is one of the largest jewelry purchasing holidays of the year in the U.S. Nearly 20 percent of Valentine’s gift givers will buy jewelry, spending more than $4 billion according to National Jeweler.

Jewelers are in a unique position to influence mining industry behavior because jewelry demand accounts for the majority of gold demand in the U.S. and around the world.

The world’s largest jewelry retailers including Tiffany & Co., Target and Helzberg Diamonds have all committed to take steps to clean up irresponsible gold and metals mining. These include studying their metals supply chains, revising their supplier sourcing criteria to include the Golden Rules, increasing recycled gold content, and seeking more responsibly produced metals.

Dirty gold mining is booming around the world, in places ranging from Mongolia to Peru. In Bristol Bay, Alaska, gold mining threatens the world’s largest wild salmon fishery. According to the EPA, if built, the proposed Pebble mine would dump toxic mining waste directly into rivers, lakes and streams, and irreversibly damage the $480 million fishery upon which the regional economy and local subsistence-based communities depend.

“We can’t eat gold,” said Kimberly Williams, director of Nunamta Aulukestai, an association of ten Bristol Bay Native village corporations and Native Tribes. “Our way of life relies on Bristol Bay’s salmon, and has for thousands of years. Because the Pebble Mine would damage our salmon, it would damage our community.”

Visit EcoWatch’s BIODIVERSITY page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Women walk from Santa Monica beach after a social media workout on the sand on May 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Independence Day weekend is a busy time for coastal communities as people flock to the beaches to soak up the sun during the summer holiday. This year is different. Some of the country's most popular beach destinations in Florida and California have decided to close their beaches to stop the surge in coronavirus cases.

Read More Show Less
Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans and others who suffer from PTSD. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Arash Javanbakht

For some combat veterans, the Fourth of July is not a time to celebrate the independence of the country they love. Instead, the holiday is a terrifying ordeal. That's because the noise of fireworks – loud, sudden, and reminiscent of war – rocks their nervous system. Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans.

Read More Show Less
Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs. Mathias Appel / Flickr

Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs, warns a year-long inquiry into Australia's "most loved animal." The report published by the Parliament of New South Wales (NSW) paints a "stark and depressing snapshot" of koalas in Australia's southeastern state.

Read More Show Less
NASA is advancing tools like this supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth's climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. NASA/GSFC

By Jeff Berardelli

For the past year, some of the most up-to-date computer models from the world's top climate modeling groups have been "running hot" – projecting that global warming may be even more extreme than earlier thought. Data from some of the model runs has been confounding scientists because it challenges decades of consistent projections.

Read More Show Less
A child stands in what is left of his house in Utuado, Puerto Rico, which was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria, on Oct. 12, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios. Flickr, CC by 2.0
By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

To hear many journalists tell it, the spring of 2020 has brought a series of extraordinary revelations. Look at what the nation has learned: That our health-care system was not remotely up to the challenge of a deadly pandemic. That our economic safety net was largely nonexistent. That our vulnerability to disease and death was directly tied to our race and where we live. That our political leadership sowed misinformation that left people dead. That systemic racism and the killing of Black people by police is undiminished, despite decades of protest and so many Black lives lost.
Read More Show Less
President Trump's claim last September that Hurricane Dorian was headed for Alabama's gulf coast was quickly refuted by employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). An independent investigation found that NOAA's chief violated the agency's ethics when he backed Trump's warning and doctored map that used a Sharpie to alter the storm's path, as EcoWatch reported.
Read More Show Less

Trending

African bush elephants in the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve in Botswana on Nov. 22, 2016. Michael Jansen / Flickr

More than 350 elephants have died in Botswana since May, and no one knows why.

Read More Show Less