A new international study by Unilever reveals that a third of consumers (33%) are now choosing to buy from brands that are environmentally good and eco-friendly. The study shows that “while 53% of shoppers in the UK and 78% in the US say they feel better when they buy products that are sustainably produced, that number rises to 88% in India and 85% in both Brazil and Turkey.” (www.unilever.com 2017). The same holds true for the diamond industry.
In recent years, the mined diamond industry has caused an uproar due to its impact on the environment. Reckless and unregulated mining of diamonds has taken a disastrous toll on the environment. Among its most visible effects are carbon emissions, land erosion, deforestation, and air and water pollution. Even fast fashion jewelry, which is cheap and has a shorter lifespan, leaves a considerable amount of footprint and waste, harming the environment. In such a scenario, it is man-made or lab-grown diamonds that are leading the way to sustainable living in the diamond industry. Lab-grown diamonds are more eco-friendly diamonds. Some of the evident reasons are: negligible impact on the environment, reduced waste, and regulated waste disposal making it an environment-friendly alternative to diamonds dug out from below the Earth.
Lab-created diamonds are not dug out or mined from the Earth. Instead, they are grown with technological processes in laboratories. Lab-grown diamonds, or eco-friendly diamonds, are ethically created with no direct or indirect impact on the Earth.
Diamond mining has been causing irreversible damage to the Earth. Reports show that to mine a 1.0-carat diamond, roughly 1750 tons of earth have to be dug out. Whereas some diamond mining companies follow environmental rehabilitation codes to ensure that the area is filled back up, it is technically not possible to fill up the pit to its original state. Some regions do not have any regulations.
Unless carefully managed, mining diamonds disturbs land. Mining results in large quantities of excess waste rock, sand, and soil accumulating in the immediate areas. This waste needs to be managed accordingly and rehabilitated. A number of unregulated and illegal diamond mines do not handle it, which is leading to the destruction and imbalance of land. Marine and coastal mining has been resulting in large-scale excavations and modification of coastal areas. Whereas, when eco-friendly diamonds are grown in labs, there is no such damage to the Earth. Lab created Diamonds are grown in safe environments inside laboratories that follow environmental regulations.
Unlike mined diamonds, lab-created diamonds do not cause air or water pollution. Lab-grown diamonds or eco-friendly diamonds are created in small diamond-growing chambers inside safe laboratories. They produce close to a negligent amount of waste. The waste produced from these labs is recycled and disposed of by environmentally friendly methods. The energy use and emissions from diamond-growing laboratories are negligible.
When diamonds are sourced from mines using various methods, chemicals from the Earth get released. These chemicals pollute the air and contaminate water when they get leaked into water bodies. Electricity and hydrocarbon energy used in mining diamonds cause carbon emissions, greenhouse gases, and chemical substances released into the air. This has caused smog, climate change, and a number of challenges to the environment.
A comparative analysis by the Environmental Impact Analysis: Production of Rough Diamonds report published by Frost & Sullivan, found that the harmful carbon emissions produced by mined diamonds was 57000 grams per carat. On the other hand, grown diamonds emit only 0.028 grams per carat.
Lab-grown diamonds are created by placing small diamond seeds in carbon-rich growing chambers. They are created atom-by-atom, over a period of time using heat and pressure. The entire process is controlled to produce real natural and synthetic diamonds in the most environmentally friendly manner. These laboratories are safe environments that follow the rules and regulations of production processes. The only energy requirement for growing eco-friendly diamonds in labs is a modest amount of electricity. This electricity primarily comes from renewable sources. Unlike mined diamonds, chemicals, water, and harmful substances are not used to grow eco-friendly diamonds in the lab.
Evidently, lab-grown diamonds are better for the environment compared to mined diamonds. When diamonds are mined from the Earth, two forms of energy are used in large quantities: electricity and hydrocarbons, both of which result in carbon emissions, and greenhouse gases of large amounts. Large amounts of water, chemical, and hazardous substances are used in the mining process.
In no part of the process of creating eco-friendly diamonds in a lab, are plants or animals harmed. Lab-grown diamonds do not harm biodiversity, ecology, or natural habitat in any manner. When large companies decide to start mining in an area, the natural habitat of the area, comprising flora and fauna is directly impacted. The native plant life is disturbed and animal life is displaced. Eco-friendly diamonds when created in safe laboratory environments do not cause damage to natural habitats.
The demand for diamonds has only been increasing. With an increase in population, increase in buying capacity, investment opportunities, and consumerist attitudes, diamonds have been in great demand. Experts have predicted that soon the demand for mined diamonds is going to exceed its supply. The solution to this situation is lab-created real diamonds. The production capacity of lab-created diamonds rests in the control of man. Unlike mined diamonds that take billions of years to get created, lab-grown diamonds can be produced sooner and in large quantities. This has positive effects on the sustainability of the diamond industry and the ecology on the whole.
The new generation is environment-conscious. People in most parts of the world want to know how their products are created and if they are eco-friendly. Lab-grown diamonds are the only answer to creating a sustainable diamond industry.
The reason most lab-grown diamond companies exist is because they care about the environment's impact. Their motto is to reduce damage to the Earth while still providing environmentally friendly real diamonds to consumers. Lab-created diamond manufacturers understand the ways in which their diamonds protect the environment from damage.
The greater good starts inside the diamond greenhouses. Diamond connoisseurs aren’t just looking to see what diamond manufacturers are doing in the outside world. They also want to know how lab-grown diamond companies are creating the diamonds to make sure that they are, in fact, eco-friendly. The exposure to the negative effects of the unsustainable mined diamond industry and individual conscious choices of choosing eco-friendly diamonds are clearly fueling the need and growth of lab-created diamonds. And rightly so!
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