(Artwork by Alyssa Barstow. Find her at alyssathefriend.com.)
The more recycled paper we use, the fewer trees we cut down. True.
The more recycled gold we use, the less we mine. False.
Recycled gold is merely dirty gold that has been refined and labeled as eco-friendly recycled gold. Here's a more detailed argument on Fairtrade Gold vs. recycled gold.
A recycled gold wedding ring absolutely is not going to slow the activities of Rio Tinto. Mining depends upon market forces, and gold is and will always be seen as an investment.
For small-scale miners, it is not about the politics of greed, but rather the polititcs of bread. They dig to feed themselves and their familitis. They mine because they must. They use mercury because it is all that they know how to use, or all they have access to.
After coal-fired plants, small-scale gold mining is the largest contributor of global mercury contamination. It is massively desructive to the enivornment.
...But if recycled gold isn't the answer, what is? Why, Fairtrade Gold, of course!
*The above is an excerpt from our forthcoming eBook—Ethical Jewelry Exposé: Lies, Damn Lies, and Conflict Free Diamonds
This free book—a whistleblower's account, a dive into the "deep state" of the jewelry sector—will be released Sept 12, 2018. To be notified, you can sign up for our Newsletter or follow us on Twitter.