Since we wanted eco-friendlier rings, we had to go with a company that was a few states away. I use the phrase "eco-friendlier" rather than "eco-friendly" because the best thing to do would have been to reuse. [insert plug for vintage] We just couldn't find anything that suited us.
So, our second best bet was to recycle. Since greenKarat melted down the old gold of our friends and family, our order didn't create any new demand for mined metal. And since my stone (a sapphire) is synthetic, it also didn't create any demand for mining.
But just for the record, we're not totally off the hook. Any process that requires energy and shipping is bound to leave a carbon-footprint. But at least it's a smaller footprint than it could've been.
Plus, our rings will be incredibly sentimental, since they each contain a piece of so many friends and family.
I just hope we like them. Actually, I really, really hope we love them.