Saying “I do” is an exciting time in a couple’s life. Unfortunately, weddings can come at a serious cost to the planet.
Between the clothing, food, drinks, venue, lodging, travel, and electricity, the average carbon footprint of a wedding in the United States is 63 metric tonnes of CO₂. To put that into perspective, a single wedding is the equivalent of the average person’s carbon footprint over the course of four years.
While laying out the facts can be truly jaw-dropping, one brand is trying to help. Aether Diamonds believes the focus of a couple’s wedding day should be their love—not the stress of making the “right” eco-friendly choices. To help solve the problem, Aether is offsetting that 63 metric tonnes of CO₂ for every qualifying purchase.
Before we get into how to offset the carbon footprint of your own wedding, let’s start with where it all began: the diamond ring.
How Aether Diamonds Is Bettering the Planet
Aether Diamonds are the world’s first carbon-negative diamonds. The brand creates diamonds from air (yes, really!) through a process that removes harmful air pollution and captures the carbon from it. From there, the captured CO₂ is synthesized into a usable hydrocarbon raw material.
While typical lab-grown diamonds use carbon sourced from fossil fuels that go through oil drilling and fracking, Aether’s carbon source does the planet good. After the hydrocarbon raw materials are placed into reactors that have the perfect growing conditions, the diamonds form in just 3 to 4 weeks.
After they’ve finished growing, the diamonds are sent to Aether’s craftspeople to cut, polish, and set into jewelry by hand. Every high-quality diamond is certified by IGI, the world’s largest independent laboratory for testing and grading gemstones and fine jewelry. They’re also vegan-certified.
But Aether doesn’t stop there. For every 1-carat diamond sold, the brand removes 20 tonnes of CO₂ from the atmosphere, making your purchase impactful in more ways than one.
Why We Love Aether Diamonds
We’ve discussed the environmental impact of the diamond industry before, which not only wreaks havoc on the planet, but also its inhabitants.
While lab-grown diamonds are a step in the right direction, they’re not perfect, as the carbon used to produce them typically comes from fossil fuels. Aether’s diamonds challenge the status quo by producing them from air.
Here’s what also puts Aether ahead of the game: Being that these diamonds are carbon-negative—not just carbon neutral—they’re not just taking pollution out of the atmosphere for a short time. They’re doing so permanently.
“When we make diamonds from atmospheric carbon, there’s no way that that carbon is ever going back into the air,” Ryan Shearman, co-founder of Aether, tells Brightly. “And that’s something that we’re really excited about.”
How to Take Part in Aether’s Wedding Offset Program
Aether Diamonds is the first jewelry brand to offset the carbon footprints of its customers’ weddings. And, any customer that buys $4,000 worth of jewelry from Aether’s website by December 31 using the code WEDDINGOFFSET qualifies.
It’s not just diamond rings, either. All jewelry counts, including necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Customers can also buy multiple items in order to hit the required spend amount. You can also combine multiple orders to qualify as long as you have an account created on the site, which allows Aether to verify purchase history.
So, how do these carbon offsets work? Aether is working with Pachama, which has the mission to restore nature through forest restoration and ecosystem preservation. Because Aether removes pollution from the atmosphere when creating its diamonds, the brand is dedicating these offsets to preserving the rainforest.
Treating yourself or others to beautiful diamond jewelry and bettering the planet in the process? Count us in.
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