I'm an Oregon native, and I grew up in the small town of Eugene. For those of you who aren't familiar with Eugene, it is the hippy capital of the world. Think not just granola, think homemade granola. Grateful Dead, Saturday Market, Oregon Country Fair. When I was 14 I got my first job cleaning dorms at the U of O with my best friend Kellie, and we spent our first paychecks on Birkenstocks. I didn't see the way I grew up as particularly green, my family is very blue collar, but in Oregon recycling came early to everyone. I got my spending money from redeeming bottle deposits, and we read all about the spotted owl controversy in our 3rd grade weekly readers (a small newspaper type thing for school children). I spent a large part of my childhood living out in the sticks. I've even lived in a log cabin.
I love Oregon, and what I love the most is the wild, aggressive greenness of the woods and the pureness of the ice cold rivers. (We have our share of problems, but Oregon is still a wild place.) With oil gushing into the gulf, I am ever more grateful that I had a childhood where nature was unspoiled, and the waves crashing onto the black rocks of the Oregon coast did not contain sticky black oil. In contrast to this, I've lived in a small city in China (only 7 million people) for two years and I've seen the environmental wasteland that can be created when industry runs amok. It is a terrible sight. Terrible.
I'm feeling a little mawkish right now, so please forgive me. But all of this sentimental gushing about the environment does have a purpose. It explains why I feel the way I do about the source of my materials. I'm not perfect, but I'm trying my best to make singleBs impact on the environment as low as possible. I use only recycled metals, I buy only Kimberly Process diamonds and I give Canadian diamonds preference when available. My shipping boxes are made of recycled materials (the USPS is cool like that!) and my packaging material is recycled from what my suppliers pack my materials orders in. It's a learning process and I'm still trying to perfect my technique and find new sources for environmentally friendly materials. It sometimes makes my jewelry a little more expensive, but it is something I feel strongly about and that I've made a priority.