Dazzling, Eco-Friendly Engagement Rings

February is probably the most romantic month of the year, a time when many lovers around the world propose to their significant others. In fact, some sources estimate that 10 percent of all proposals are made on Valentine’s Day. If you’re picking a ring, do your loved one and the world a favor and consider an eco-friendly engagement ring.

Engagements rings are meant to be special, but sometimes the work that goes into making the rings can be devastating. No Dirty Gold reports that gold mining can harm the environment like polluting the air, poisoning water, and producing toxic waste. Diamond diggers in Africa usually work under dangerous conditions, making little money and working long hours.

Fortunately, there are rings you can buy that’ll relieve your conscience

For years, organizations around the world such as the Kimberley Process have been trying to raise awareness about the dangers of mining and digging for gold and jewels. Now there is a vast market of eco-friendly jewelers. “Green” jewelry is made ethically, aiming to protect the environment, the workers, and their communities. Many eco-friendly jewelry companies have certification to prove that their products do not harm the environment.

There is a vast variety of eco-friendly jewelry. Precious metals like gold can be gathered from unwanted jewelry like broken necklaces and recycled into new pieces. Rings can also be made from non-traditional materials like wood. Conflict-free diamonds ensure that the jewels are not produced by child labor, that the workers are fairly compensated, and that local communities benefit. There’s also fair trade rings, made by artisans around the world.

So if you are researching engagement rings make sure to consider eco-friendly engagement ring options. There are many jewelers to consider and here are some suggestions to help you get started: Brilliant Earth can help you design your own eco-friendly rings, Green Karat offers “green” wedding bands, and for something truly unique, Ruff&Cut offers rough, conflict-free diamond rings. If you want to go above and beyond, check out Etsy for truly unique and upcycled rings.