At Echo Environmental, we make ecological statements and financial statements by recycling electronic equipment for the good of business and the planet.
But nowadays you can also make recycling into a fashion statement. About a quarter of the world’s gold supply each year comes from recycling, mostly melting down gold jewelry and harvesting gold used in electronic devices once they’ve outlived their usefulness. It’s generally better for the environment than extracting new gold from a mine.
Many jewelry companies promote their Earth-friendliness by marketing product lines made of recycled gold. Now Dell, the Austin-based computer giant, has gotten in on the act.
The company was already in the midst of a recycling program to use the gold from old computers in new computers when it decided to put some of that precious metal on fingers, ears and cuffs instead.
Dell commissioned Nikki Reed, an actress and model best known as vampire Rosalie Hale in The Twilight Saga movies, to create a jewelry line with its recovered gold for her Bayou With Love brand. The result is called The Circular Collection, with 14- and 18-carat gold rings, earrings and cufflinks ranging from $98 to $348.
“Bayou with Love was created to bring greater awareness to the human impact on our planet and show that beautiful items can come from sustainably sourced and recycled materials,” she said when the line launched recently.
How do you let someone know you’re wearing recycled gold? Since gold pretty much looks the same regardless of where it’s from, you probably have to tell them.
You can also tell them that Dell estimates that just 12.5 percent of electronic waste is currently being recycled. For cell phones alone, that means that $60 million worth of gold and silver gets tossed in the trash in the country each year.
“When you think about the fact that there is up to 800 times more gold in a ton of motherboards than a ton of ore from the earth,” said Dell Vice President Jeff Clarke, “you start to realize the enormous opportunity we have to put valuable materials to work.”
We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we put our recycled gold cufflinks in our pockets, roll up our sleeves and work to get that electronic waste recycling percentage closer to 100 every day.