Eco-friendly Weddings Series No. 1: Green Engagement Rings and Green Wedding Rings


Weddings — especially typical American weddings — have gotten more and more extravagant in recent years. Things that were once rare luxuries, such as limousines and expensive favors, are now the norm. Weddings have become a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, and while brides and grooms spend their time debating open bars and tiaras, is anybody wondering how all of these decisions are affecting the environment?

In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight wedding elements — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to incorporate using sustainable materials and methods. After all, your big day is the perfect opportunity to consider the big picture. Plan an eco-friendly wedding, and say “I do” to a greener perspective on wedded bliss.

Eco engagement rings and eco wedding rings 

Diamond ringWhen you think about giving your wedding a green makeover, the rings probably aren’t the first things that pop into your head. High-end jewelry, however, comes with its own set of problems. Those big, bright diamonds that most brides would give their left legs for have big costs in addition to those incurred at the jewelry store.

Problem: Diamond mining and trading in Africa is notoriously dirty and violent (you may have heard the terms “conflict diamond” or “blood diamond” before). The sale of diamonds — in certain locations during certain time periods — has been used by rebels to fund violence in war-torn regions, mostly in central and western Africa. Though the U.S. government has taken steps to assure that conflict diamonds don’t reach our shores (read the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s take on conflict diamonds to learn more), it remains difficult to know whether a diamond purchased from a large company is truly conflict-free. Let’s not forget that diamond mining is also detrimental to the environment, creating toxic runoff and stripping the land.

Solution: If you’re set on a diamond ring, go vintage. Buy your rings pre-worn and you won’t be participating in a corrupt industry. If the look of the diamond is important to you but the industry turns you off, consider imitation diamonds (my sister’s engagement ring contains a diamond simulant solitaire from Diamond Nexus Labs that is simply breathtaking). If faking it isn’t your bag, consider stepping outside the box and selecting a different gemstone such as your birth stone.

7/16/2014 11:11:09 AM

Unethical jewelry will never be an option for, I enjoy the research before purchasing any jewelry and I like the idea of buying from companies which care about the environment. I would also consider, engagement rings can't get greener than that and they are absolutely gorgeous.

6/8/2014 5:42:59 AM

You should talk from the reality's point of view. We should either stop the use of or should use them. If you say these pieces must not be used when diamonds are not from troubling African states, and buy them only when they do not have blood diamonds, then it's not the responsibility of public that you want the buyers to do. Only governments can do this job, and the role of a buyer is just limit to paying the money what he wants.

4/25/2014 7:29:52 AM

An interesting start to the blog series, not many people probably consider in much detail the eco-effect of their wedding, especially the ring element. One thing I can say is to ensure that your jeweller uses certified diamonds. I used found a seller of some fantastic, and they only use stones from certified institutions such as GIA and IGI. This ensures that your stone is genuine and more ethical.

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