Crystals make excellent gifts for loved ones, but are they worth the environmental cost? Now that crystals have become a multi-billion dollar industry, the impact of crystal mining is getting more and more pronounced. While some crystals come from small-scale excavations that make little impact on the environment, many are byproducts of larger mining operations digging for other minerals like gold and copper — activities that heavily pollute the surrounding environment. How can we make sure that our crystal gifts are ethically sourced?
Are Lab-Grown Crystals A Good Alternative?
Many crystals on the market were made in a lab. But some crystal healing experts say that these synthetic crystals don’t have the same healing properties as natural crystals, as man-made crystals just don’t have the same spiritual energy. When you take into account the fact that crystals are believed to have healing properties because of the energy they absorbed from the earth, it’s easy to see how people would rather have the natural product.
However, because lab-grown crystals make a much smaller impact on the environment, they are, without a doubt, the more sustainable option. But without the healing energy of the earth, are these crystals good for nothing more than decoration? Some experts say that it’s possible to “charge” crystals with positive energy by holding it in your bare hands and giving it love.
If you’re gifting a crystal to someone who’ll be primarily interested in how a crystal looks, lab-grown is the way to go. But for those who desire crystals for their healing properties, it may not be the best option. However, it’s important to note that just because a crystal is natural doesn’t necessarily mean that it automatically possesses positive energy. After all, how can a crystal heal its user when it’s a product of human suffering and environmental damage?
How To Find Ethically Sourced Natural Crystals
For many believers in crystal healing, it’s absolutely critical that the crystal is 100 percent natural. Looking for ethically sourced natural crystals, however, is often easier said than done, as many crystal sellers don’t disclose details behind their sourcing. (To be fair, many times, this isn’t intentional on the seller’s part — they simply just don’t know.)
As much as possible, purchase crystals from sellers who can give you at least some information about their sources. Sometimes, simply knowing the region that these crystals come from can tip you off on how ethical their extraction was. Though many US mining operations have a long way to go when it comes to sustainability, they do have to comply with ecological and labor regulations.
In contrast, Myanmar’s jade mining industry is notorious for causing an HIV and heroin use epidemic among the locals who work in the mines, not to mention the environmental destruction. Similarly, the mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo employ children as young as seven years old. Though the mining of healing crystals isn’t regulated anywhere in the world, mining in Argentina, Botswana, Canada, Finland, the Philippines, and Spain supposedly have sold sustainable mining regulations, so they’re a good place to start.
Whenever possible, as your seller about where your crystal comes from. Though you may not get as much information as you’d like, the simple act of asking lets companies know that sustainable sourcing is important to their consumers. Putting in a little extra effort to your gift isn’t just good for the environment, but also shows your loved one just how much you care about the energy you’re bringing into their life.