Weekend reading: Chaco, Fracking and America’s National Parks

By admin on May 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Yesterday, I was pointed towards an EarthWorks action to protect Chaco culture against fracking near New Mexico’s rich and historic Chaco Culture National Park.  In the search for more information about the park itself and proposals to drill within the vicinity of the park, I found a great article on the fight to protect the land, as well as an interesting interactive infographic depicting national parks and the effects of fracking around their vicinities.

“Although a number of other parks are under threat, including the Delaware Water Gap, and Theodore Roosevelt, Yellowstone, and Glacier national parks, Chaco Culture is particularly vulnerable. It encompasses the largest site of Chacoan ruins, which date back at least a millennium and contain a remarkable set of masonry structures that served its inhabitants as a ritual, ceremonial, and communal center for 300 years or so. Pueblo Bonito, for instance, is thought to have been the world’s largest apartment building housing upwards of 1,300 people, a size not eclipsed until the late 1880s.”

The article can be found here. Be sure to check out the interactive map.

10 Years of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts

By admin on May 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Massachusetts Legislature blocks same-sex marriage ban

via Freedom to Marry

10 years ago on May 17th, Massachusetts became the first state in the US to make same-sex marriage legal. Since then, 16 more states have deemed the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and other states are beginning to follow. Even though the fight for marriage equality has progressed significantly, there is still work to be done, as 33 states still have same-sex marriage bans in effect. This story of Ralph and Paul, one of the first gay couples to get married in Massachusetts, is touching and we thought we’d share.

Fairmined Gold

By Alyssa on May 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm

*From the Alliance for Responsible Mining website

This article aims to keep our readers up to date on the complicated and nuanced path towards ethical and environmentally-conscious gold standards. More specifically, Bario Neal is currently committed to using Fairmined gold and plans to offer Fairtrade gold in the near future as well. In this article we lay out the details of the Fairmined gold standards set forth by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM).  We also explain the difference between Fairmined and Fairtrade gold. Fairmined and Fairtrade standards and certification have the power to transform the gold mining industry, along with the lives of those dependent upon it. We will update this article as the ethical gold story unravels.

“Globally, over 100 million people depend on Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) for survival. The 15 million ASM miners work in harsh and dangerous conditions to produce just 10-15 percent of global gold supplies, but they make up 90 percent of the global work force in gold extraction. These miners and their families are caught in a vicious circle of exploitation [and] illegality, and many lack the skills and resources to move forward. However, if managed responsibly, ASM mining can provide a great opportunity for poverty reduction and sustainable development for millions of people.” [1]

Bario Neal uses 100% recycled metals whenever possible, the exceptions being our bronze pieces and certain findings like earring backs and clasps that we aren’t able to make ourselves. We are also well aware that regardless of how much recycled metals we use, precious metals will continue to be mined and continue to be recycled. In response to the social and environmental issues surrounding metal mining, Bario Neal has been working to expand our commitment to ethical metal sourcing and more directly support responsible ASM mining. Fairmined gold has only recently become available to the US market, and we are proud to be one of the first jewelry companies to develop a relationship with sources for Fairmined gold.

Continue reading Fairmined Gold