Grow Diamonds Instead of Buying Blood Diamonds

Blood diamonds are a problem for a multitude of reasons and they really shouldn’t be since we can create diamonds from scratch. A company called Pure Grown Diamonds sell diamonds that are grown in a a lab for all your diamond needs. The market for diamonds is largely a social construct based off of good marketing, so you may as well play it safe and go for lab-grown diamonds instead of buying diamonds from sketchy sources.

How are Pure Grown Diamonds made?

Pure Grown Diamonds are produced by utilizing two gem-quality diamond creation processes: High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). In both processes, a small diamond seed is placed in an environment that contains carbon. Under suitably controlled conditions, the diamond grows, atom-by-atom, layer-by-layer, recreating nature’s process.

Grown Diamonds—Eco Advantages

In a recent environmental impact analysis, Frost & Sullivan (F&S) concludes the impact of the Pure Grown Process is seven times lower than Diamond Mining.

Mined diamonds disturb more land, produce more mineral waste, use more water, create more air emissions (carbon, NOx and SOx), use more energy, have more environmental incidents, result in more lost time injury (both in terms of frequency and severity) and have a higher occupational disease rate. Based on their calculations, F&S further concludes that mined diamonds represent more than 7 times the level of impact as compared to grown diamonds.

Check it out

Artists Bring Peace to the Streets

le-policier-amoureux (digital)

Street art about peace is getting special attention in London these next few weeks. Artists from all over the world are going to explore the idea of ‘peace in our streets’ and what it means to them. It looks like it’ll be a great exhibit.

If you’re in London you should check it out.

The show will be titled Peace from the street up! and will feature work inspired by the theme of ‘peace in our cities’. The artists, some of whom come from conflict-affected regions, will reflect on opportunities for peaceful change in an increasingly urbanised world.

“Urban and street art has a long history of engaging with important social issues and harnessing peaceful social change through creativity and humour. We thought it would be fascinating to invite urban and street artists from around the world to reflect on what peace in their cities could look like.”

The exhibition will be part of Alert’s second Talking Peace Festival, a month-long series of events designed to spark conversations about peace through creativity. Exhibition and auction information, and a full list of participating artists will be available on www.talkingpeacefestival.org.

Fairphone – A Phone Built With Social Values

Fairphone is a new phone built in an ethical way using (mostly) ethically sound sources. It’s a reaction to the ongoing problems with electronics manufactures who get minerals from conflict regions (think blood diamonds) and places with no labour protection. Until Fairphone, there was no way to get a phone that didn’t support repressive and violent organizations.

Let’s hope Fairphone catches on! They are already sold out of their first run.

Fairphone, founded by designer Bas van Abel in 2010, is seeking incremental gains. So far the startup has managed to ethically source only tin and tantalum by partnering with NGOs that track supply chains. As for the other 28 minerals, Bleekemolen says, “We don’t have a clue where they come from.” She also notes that the tin and tantalum are only conflict-free, meaning rebel groups don’t have access to profits, but they aren’t necessarily produced with fair labor practices in mind. The goal is to improve sourcing with each new iteration of Fairphone.

Funded almost entirely through crowdsourcing, Fairphone has already received 15,000 orders for its phone, which retails for $440 and will become available in December. The handset looks similar to a Samsung (005930) Galaxy or Apple (AAPL), is unlocked, works with all mobile carriers, and runs on a custom version of Google (GOOG)‘s Android operating system.

Read more at Bloomberg.

Thanks to Dave!

Canada One of the Most Peaceful Nations

Despite the fact that Canada’s current Prime Minister Stephen Harper wanted to go to war in Iraq and his commitment to keep Canadian troops fighting and dying in Afghanistan, Canada has been named the most peaceful nation in North and Central America and Caribbean region.

For a list of the most peaceful nation in each region of the world you can click here.

The list was compiled by the Global Symposium of Peaceful Nations.

Via the Canadian Press

U.S. War Deserters Welcome in Canada

American troops who don’t want to fight in an illegal war can now live in Canada without fear of being deported!

U.S. soldiers who fled to Canada to escape the war in Iraq won a symbolic victory in the House of Commons Tuesday when a majority of MPs voted that the deserters should be allowed to stay permanently in the country.
But the motion, put forward by the NDP, is non-binding on the minority Conservative government. Tory MPs voted against the motion but were outnumbered by the three opposition parties in a 137-110 vote.
“The Harper Conservatives must respect this and immediately implement this motion,” said Olivia Chow, the Toronto New Democrat who moved the motion. “Ordinary people want the Iraq war resisters to stay.”
The Toronto-based War Resisters Support Campaign estimates as many as 200 American soldiers escaped to Canada to avoid serving in Iraq.

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