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

| 6/18/2010 3:30:00 PM

Tags: Eco-friendly weddings, green engagement rings, 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.

9/18/2013 8:47:25 AM

I had looked into different jewelry companies--Premier Designs Jewelry included--and actually chose Cookie Lee Jewelry, instead. I actually don't have too much experience with Premier, but would recommend definitely looking at other companies in order to be sure it's the right one for you (each company has different profit percentages, hostess programs, and career paths.) Just be sure you are 100% excited about the company you choose Best of luck to you!

7/30/2010 7:48:02 PM

Wood wedding rings are also eco-friendly and much more "earthy." And, much cheaper. You can use almost any type of wood plus it's possible to have stones inlaid in the ring. They are also much cheaper - I just bought one for $217 to replace my gold ring.

jessica butler
7/21/2010 2:48:32 AM

I'm getting my ring from . They specialize in recycled jewelry. I've been collecting gold from friends and family members, and will send it in to be melted down and made into my ring. This way, I can carry my loved ones around with me wherever I go.

7/19/2010 3:29:05 PM

Diamond Nexus Labs is really a scam, do research about them online before buying. A stone from them shattered and they wouldn't replace it. Did my research and found out it was just an overpriced cubic zirconium. If you want a good conflict and mining free alternative to a diamond look into Moissonite. They are beautiful and much stronger.

lady aelina
7/7/2010 10:50:07 PM

There are now also conflict free diamonds. These are certified diamonds that were properly mined. But, I love your idea of going vintage. We did that and I have an unique set that tells a story of our uniqueness. My engagement ring is my birthstone from the 1940's. It is perfect! Our wedding bands are also costumed made using older wedding bands. I also used recycled invites that had wild flower seeds in-bedded inside. Five years later I have friends who still have wild flowers blooming in their yard. I didn't want "dead flowers" at my wedding either. I had my wedding in my Grandmother's home and I had the opportunity to sow wildflowers, nasturtiums, and other bright flowers around the site. Which to this day continue to bloom. If that isn't possible why not potted plants? They can also serve as thank you gifts at the tables. My wedding bouquet was made by a friend of mine who used roses from her garden and broccoli and coffee flowers from my Dad's garden. For my cake I actually had cup cakes made. They are the perfect size for the guests and it does limit the amount of waste. We also used Green plates and cups. They actually looked pretty with everything. My guests were so surprised to find them biodegradable and still hold their dinner. Tacky? Well, tackiness is in the eye of the beholder. It is possible to do a green celebration of any kind. One just needs to be open minded and creative!

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