Environmentally Conscious: Protecting the Earth
Protecting the Earth is an important aspect of the Fair Trade Gems® protocols. Protection includes being environmentally conscious during mining, cutting, and jewelry manufacturing.
Gemstones are usually mined by hand, unlike mining for most commodities and minerals. Small scale mining is often done with hand-held tools, minimizing the lasting impact on the surrounding environment. A gemstone miner is much more likely to use a shovel or a basket than a backhoe.
Columbia Gem House plans its mining operations to safeguard the natural setting of the mine. One vital aspect of planning is working closely with miners, who generally live near the gem deposits. Additionally, impact on the native wildlife habitat can by reduced by leaving as much vegetation as possible untouched.
Columbia Gem House works diligently to protect streams, watersheds, and groundwater from natural sediment and pollutants. Although mining operations move a lot of earth and rock, environmental impact can be reduced with planning. Careful planning ensures that sediment does not block or divert streams and runoff channels which could harm fish and other marine life.
It is the company’s policy to restore and replant mine sites to as close to original condition as possible once mining is complete. In Malawi, native plants are being cultivated to restore the natural habitat. In Australia, past sapphire mines are now beautiful lush pastures.
By choosing Fair Trade Gems®, you are making a conscious choice to preserve our environment.