I've been working on making my little jewelry business more eco-friendly, just in time for Earth Day. I've always felt conflicted about being a metalsmith when precious metal mining is so environmentally damaging and often socially irresponsible as well. I remembered back in college, one of my professors said she bought her gold from Hoover and Strong, because they sell recycled gold. After a few fellow etsy sellers recommended them too, I went and set up an account. So now I am buying 100% recycled silver sheet and wire! Hoover and Strong also has a strong commitment to protecting the environment, and they use clean refining techniques. If you're interested, you can read up on it here. I am working on trying to find reliably recycled silver chain as well. It seems that most jewelry supply companies get their chain from outside vendors, so they don't know the content of the silver.
In addition to buying recycled silver, I am working on making my packaging more eco-friendly as well. I have always used recycled gift boxes to package my jewelry, and now I have mailers made with recycled paper as well. I am working on switching all my packaging materials to recycled products.
Just trying to do my part!
Happy Earth Day!