It’s all well and good to talk about peace and love.
I’m as happy to use my peace-sign notebook made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper as the next hippie.
But is it possible that one popular symbol of lasting love is used to fund war and destroy the environment?
Not long ago I was contacted by Brilliant Earth and asked to help raise awareness about “conflict free” diamonds.
It’s not a subject that I have been well-informed about. I started reading and was startled to learn that diamonds – the traditional symbol of lasting love – are often mined by children as young as 7 years old and adults who earn less in a year than my family earns in few days (and we are considered right at poverty level by US government standards!). There are people in the world forced to mine at gunpoint. Mining companies wreak havoc on the land, leveling forests and destroying fertile farm land. Profits from the diamond trade often go to fund horrible, bloody conflict and the miners (again, many of them children) become victims of horrific violence.
Miners may toil for unbelievably long hours in an attempt to earn a wage high enough to lift themselves out of poverty but the reality is they are destroying their bodies and their land. Children as young as American first-graders are sent to work, which takes away any chance they may have at a life-improving education.
An international diamond certification process, known as the Kimberly Process, was put into place in response to these issues. This process is an attempt to limit the trading, between nations, of diamonds being mined specifically for the purpose of funding military rebellion against standing governments. However it has proven to be fairly limited, if not entirely ineffectual in helping the issue of diamond conflict and it does not address the human rights or environmental issues in any real way what-so-ever.
Brilliant Earth is a company that is striving to create a system in which diamonds are mined by well-paid workers, in safe conditions, with minimal effect on the surrounding eco-systems. The stones are then cut and polished by skilled tradesmen who are treated well and paid fairly. Revenues are being used to educate the children of the communities where the mines exist, provide medical care and generally create an improved quality of life.
If you are in the market for jewelry, I urge you to consider this: As in all things in this modern world, your money speaks volumes!
With your purchase you can support an environmentally sustainable system that promotes human welfare and a peaceful lifestyle, or you can support the continued bloodshed and destruction that has surrounded this industry for far too long. With your purchase you can show true love, not only toward the recipient of the diamond, but toward your fellow-man.
If you would like to know more, Brilliant Earth has published this eye-opening infographic sharing the motivating reasons behind their business:
Reasons to Care Where Your Diamond Comes From provided by Brilliant Earth.
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!