Category: Crystal Tools Written by Sally Benson Views: 1833
Kim Kardashian uses them to heal from stress, Megan Fox places them on her forehead to obtain greater clarity, and Jena Dewan uses them in the bath to ‘open her heart’. Crystals are fast becoming a way to feel more spiritual on a day-to-day basis. Just about the last thing many crystal lovers would question is the origin of these calming minerals, but research indicates that they actually should. The Guardian recently asked if crystals had become the new ‘blood diamonds’, and ethical crystal distributors are growing in numbers. If you cannot conceive of a life without them but you want to do the right thing, what steps should you take?
Conflict In The Crystal Mining Industry
Like diamonds, crystals are a non-renewable resource. Therefore, their extraction impacts both local communities and the environment, with representatives of non-profit group, Earthworks, stating that in countries where crystals are mined (such as Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo), various human rights (including those covering child labor) are disrespected. Slowly but surely, human rights organizations are seeking the same rights for those working in crystal extraction as those obtained by workers in the diamond industry. In fact, the lessons learned during the quest for ethical diamonds can apply to the crystal trade. In the diamond industry, certificates like GIA or AGS provide deep knowledge into the origins of diamond jewellery, enabling customers to make ethical purchases. Many feel it is only a matter of time before similar certifications exist for crystals.
Untold Damage To The Environment
In a detailed article in The New Republic, writer Emily Atkins set the ball rolling when she informed readers that Mexico’s two largest copper mines (which extract crystals like blue chrysocolla and pyrite) cause around two billion gallons of acid and metals to seep into water systems, requiring permanent treatment. A study published last year in the journal Ekoloji found that just a few of the many environmental impacts of mining include “the destruction of landscapes and agricultural and forest lands, sedimentation and erosion, soil contamination and surface and groundwater pollution, and air pollution.” It is worrisome to think that an item most people buy to improve energy in their homes and personal lives could potentially be causing so many problems for our planet.
Where To Find Ethical Crystal Manufacturers
Atkins’ report has received many shares, has been quoted endlessly, and can be considered the first step in ethical crystal manufacturing. As Atkins states, until a similar document to the Kimberley Process (covering diamonds) is signed, it is simply impossible to know the circumstances under which crystals were mined. Awareness is the first step towards such a commitment. Purchasers need to speak with their purses, so to speak, demanding greater transparency from the stores they purchase crystals from.
It is, arguably, only when crystal sellers realize that buyers mean business when it comes to ethics and sustainability, that change will begin. Today, many buyers are already aware of the big toll that the mining of some crystals is causing both local communities and the environment. Ultimately, their voice needs to be manifested through their purchasing decisions. Because crystals can change hands various times before reaching online stores or markets, the way it stands, it is hard to tell if a crystal has had major or minimal impact on the area it was sourced from.
Sally Benson is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.
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