We all know we can cut Mother Nature a break by recycling. But perhaps, like me, you didn’t know about “e-mining.”
This is the process of using metals reprocessed from old electronic devices such as cellphones, laptops and gaming consoles.
Increasingly, according to the New York Times, jewelry brands are e-mining precious metals from discarded gadgets to produce earrings, necklaces and other accessories.
It turns out that gold and other precious metals are used in electronics because they conduct electricity well and resist corrosion.
Denmark’s Pandora, the largest maker of jewelry by volume, says it plans to make all its offerings from recycled gold and silver by 2025.
This is a good thing, reducing the stress on the environment that often comes from industrial mining operations.
It’s also a great example of how consumer products with relatively short product lives can be reborn as other stuff — in this case, as fashion statements and wearables.
It would be great to see Silicon Valley becoming more proactive on this front, partnering with recycling firms not just for e-mining but other ways components can serve a more useful purpose than adding to our growing mountains of landfills.
Let’s start with tags and labels identifying goods made from recycled electronics.
I don’t know about you, but I’d favor such products when shopping.