Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Quest for Sustainability

Several years ago, we all started hearing more and more about the idea of sustainability. Organic foods, not driving as much, recycling, being kind to the planet. All of these ideas are new, yet not really. I grew up learning how to recycle, and actually cracked the recycling whip at everyone in my dorm when I went off to college. Riding a bike or walking or taking public transportation has always been a viable option for me.

And, yet, when I went to a conference in 2004 focused on sustainability, and heard a presentation by Ray Anderson from Interface (watch this short YouTube clip for more), I realized there was so much more that I could do to reduce my impact. And I immediately started taking stock in everything I do.

When I took a carbon footprint quiz last fall, I was thrilled to learn that all my efforts are paying off - My personal impact is almost a quarter of the average Californian, a third of the average American. From swapping lightbulbs for CFLs and shopping at the farmers' market to commuting by bike and not traveling by airplane, it's nice to know that little steps can make a big difference.

But, one thing that I have wanted to do for several years, ever since getting into metalsmithing, is source my materials in a renewable way. For years, I've wanted to find someone who sells 100% recycled sterling silver (that's not PMC clay), and haven't had any luck. Until now. Thanks to Catherine of Solsida Jewelry, who I found through the Switchboards forum, I am happy to report that I am again hot on the trail!

I'm still in the early stages of researching some leads, but I am so excited by this prospect! And I hope to make a decision on a company and start transitioning from the stock I have now to fully recycled silver within the next few months. I'm also going to start posting more about my efforts to be as sustainable as possible, so stay tuned.

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