Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

Skip The Engagement Ring

Skip The Engagement Ring


Being green involves more than recycling.

As the season of wedding proposals is upon us, Baltidome would like to encourage those who are considering taking the leap to SKIP THE PRECIOUS METALS AND GEMSTONES.

Let’s pretend for one moment to not know all that we have learned about the human toll of diamond-mining.

The typical gold wedding ring requires the removal of more than 250 tons of rock and ore (January 2009 National Geographic, The Real Price of Gold). And because much of the earth’s gold deposits have been depleted, mining companies are willing to move mountains, literally, to get it.  As the earth’s gold resources are diminished, the price rises and for each ounce of unused gold you purchase, you are encouraging companies like Denver-based Newmont, who has mines on five continents, to push farther to get it.

What 250 tons looks like – Tian Tan Buddha in China

One could go on and on about the destructive practices that come from the demand for wedding rings and other high-end jewelry, but rather than examine the commercial jewelry industry, Baltidome would like to offer alternatives.   By proposing with a thoughtful wedding ring alternative, you will not only protect the environment, but also create a unique wedding experience that the two of you will forever remember.

Wedding Ring Alternatives

  • Wedding Ring Tattoos – As tattoos are becoming a mainstream practice, the wearer no longer needs to be concerned about discrimination against the art form.  Just make sure that you carefully design your “ring” and research your prospective parlor before you jump in.  Two Baltimore parlors that have been consistently listed as “Baltimore’s Best” are Read Street Tattoo and the Baltimore Tattoo Museum.
  • Antique Wedding Rings – If you can’t seem to break away from the tradition, but would still like to do your part for the planet, antique wedding rings are a great way to go.  Many antique stores carry jewelry, but it may take some time to find the right style.  Don’t be too concerned about size, as any good jeweler should be able fit the ring.  Baltimore’s Heirloom Jewelry has a great reputation and an online store for easy browsing.  Also, coming up is the yearly Baltimore’s Summer Antique Show at the Baltimore Convention Center, September 2-5th, 2010.  There is sure to be a large selection of jewelry here, but don’t expect bargains.
  • Request a Tree Planting – If you own your home in Baltimore and there is green space next to it, you may be eligible to request a tree planting from the city.  To get more information, CLICK HERE.  When your tree is planted, invite your partner to the site and propose.
  • Adopt a Pet – Nothing shows commitment more than adopting a pet together.  The Humane Society of the United States estimates that half of animals put into shelters each year are euthanized. This expression of commitment will truly be a life changing experience.  For a link to the Baltimore Animal Rescue Shelter, CLICK HERE.
  • Buy a Plot of Land – By purchasing land, you ensure what happens to it.  Consider buying a vacant lot and planting a garden on it. You can then invite your partner to the location and propose.  Alternatively, if your income permits, think about purchasing several acres of critical green space in another location.  You could visit the space yearly with an anniversary camping trip.

Discuss Wedding Ring Alternatives Beforehand

It is important to remember that there are powerful forces working against those that wish to challenge tradition. Offering an alternative to a newly purchased wedding ring is something you probably want to investigate with your future partner beforehand.  Presenting a diva soul-mate with some acreage in the woods in exchange for a ring may come as a bit of a shock and could make for an unpleasant experience.  Start out by trying to gauge where they are on the issue (such as bringing up the National Geographic article, for example).  Present them with some facts and go from there.  If after testing the waters, your partner keeps pointing out rings akin to The Hope Diamond, you will clearly have to discuss your intentions or you will dissapoint them on the big day.