858,000 rings made from recycled gold could be gifted this Valentine’s Day if we recycled our electricals

How to have an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day

Media release, 12 February 2022

Research by Material Focus, the not for profit behind the Recycle Your Electricals campaign, has found that if all the electricals we hoard or throw away were recycled then we would have enough gold to make 858,000 gold rings.

Gifting jewellery made out of recycled electricals is one of the many ways we can all have a more eco-friendly Valentine’s Day. 

Here’s a list of top tips on how to create a more eco-friendly Valentine’s Day – whether you’re buying jewellery for your loved one or looking for other ways of showing your love on 14 February.  

  1. Gift jewellery made from recycled materials – Waste electricals are the fastest-growing waste stream in the UK and globally. Recycled gold, silver and platinum are better for the environment because recycled products produce less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than mining for precious metals. 
  2. Romantic lighting? Buy eco-friendly candles – Instead of buying paraffin wax candles opt for an eco-friendly natural candle free from chemicals, and made from recycled glass, natural ingredients and essential oils.
  3. Baking together – An hour or two baking together is the perfect way to show your Valentine how much you love them. Aim for sustainably sourced ingredients and less plastic packaging. (Oh and if you’ve got an old blender or kettle that’s broken remember to recycle it using our electrical recycling locator.)
  4. Valentine’s dinner date? Make an eco-friendly dinner – Cut down on your meat intake this Valentine’s Day. A vegetarian diet uses 2.5 times less carbon than a meat diet. Nowadays there are so many fantastic vegetarian and vegan meal options that it’s a no-brainer to make a beautiful veggie meal for your significant other.
  5. Wrapping that beautiful gift? Don’t use wrapping paper – We all use too much wrapping paper all year round – at Christmas, for birthdays, weddings and Valentine’s Day. The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) estimates that 83 sq km of wrapping ends up in UK bins each year. An eco alternative is brown paper and natural string that can be recycled or even reused. Or buy a tote bag to gift the present – it can be re-used later as an alternative to paper.
  6. Make a hand-crafted gift for your Valentine – Spending time making a gift shows how much you care and will reflect how you feel – from making a candle out of organic wax to knitting a jumper or blanket.
  7. Gift houseplants, not flowers – Flowers are always a lovely gift for your loved ones, but cut flowers die quite quickly. A new houseplant is a gift for your Valentine that will last a long time. Plus it will absorb CO2 and give off oxygen – a breath of fresh air.

Material Focus has also compiled a list of jewellers who use recycled metals that have caught our eye. 

  • Aquila Jewellery – Aquila have introduced a new recycled sterling silver pledge, starting with chunky silver and hammered hoops.
  • Kirsten Manzi – The only jeweller on this list who specifically refers to scrap metals as a source of their recycled metal. Manzi says all of her jewellery comes from 100% certified, traceable and audited recycled silver.
  • Loveness Lee – Loveness Lee are confident that choosing their recycled jewellery doesn’t mean compromising on quality. They make it clear that “the only difference you are making is helping to save our planet.”
  • Sken – They source their metals from CooksonGold. Sken also reuse their own scraps, by melting them down, rolling them into sheets and starting over again.
  • Lylie’s – Lylie’s use salvaged gold and silver, recycled from e-waste. Material Focus have worked with them and Lily Cole on the 5 Gold Rings campaign to raise awareness of the hidden treasures in unwanted electricals.
  • Monica Vinader – by using a 100% recycled gold plating and sterling silver they say they saved over 1,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions and are now completely carbon neutral.
  • Orelia – Their Inspired by Nature collection uses 100% recycled silver base metals certified by The Responsible Jewellery Council.
  • Pandora – Pandora have made a commitment to using only recycled silver and gold in their products by 2025. In doing so, they hope to save the equivalent of 37,000 tonnes of CO2, which they reckon is more than the emissions from the electricity used in 6,000 homes per year.
  • Sondr London – Claim their pieces are made from recycled silver- and gold-plated bronze or brass.
  • CompletedWorks – All of their gold jewellery is made from recycled or Fairtrade gold, and “a significant amount” of their silver is from reclaimed or recycled silver.
  • Laura Vann – Their range is made to last and has “a timeless aesthetic and sustainable origin, using recycled silver”.

Find out how you can get involved today

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