Are your healing crystals doing more harm than good care2 healthy living e m database

Some stones absorb negativity, like rose quartz, while others, like carnelian, are purported to improve confidence and vitality. They are meant to soothe and heal energy blockages throughout the body–and happen to look pretty on your bedside table while doing it. But the way these stones are actually harvested is anything but pretty. The Dark Side of the Crystals Industry

Crystals are generally a byproduct of the large-scale strip mining industry. As in the same one that unearths diamonds, gold, coal, and copper. As in the incredibly pollutive industry that is responsible for deforestation, soil erosion, groundwater contamination, and air pollution. As in the mining industry that is infamous for using child labor and maintaining inhumane, unethical working conditions.

Since these aren’t the intended products of the mining, most mines aren’t required to disclose the actual details about these byproducts.

They simply report the profits they made from the byproducts in total to shareholders. So, the public has no way of knowing what crystals were actually mined, which makes it hugely challenging to trace a healing crystal back to its precise origin.

The mining industry makes it difficult, if not nearly impossible, for most sellers to track a particular crystal back to its original mine, or even its country of origin. They may simply not know, but we need to know where our crystals come from.

Mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, use children as young as 7 to work in their dangerous mines to unearth these peaceful, healing, and positivity-enhancing stones. The New York Times has compared Myanmar’s jade industry to that of blood diamonds, its profits steeped in ethnic conflict, rampant drug use, and abuse.

There is proof that many crystals actually do come from these unethical and environmentally-destructive mines. The website Minfind, an online crystal shop run by Mindat (a vast mineral database), is one of the few online shops that is able to describe the mines where each specimen was uncovered.

Some of these mines are notoriously dirty. For instance, the Tyrone Copper Mine in New Mexico, where this chrysocolla was sourced, causes severe water pollution due to waste products, acid runoff, and mineral runoff. This is not only devastating to local animals and wildlife, but it puts New Mexico’s clean water supply in danger.

Whether you are a fan of the healing powers of these crystals or are convinced that the powers reported from healing crystals are just a placebo effect (or you just think they’re pretty), we can all agree that they shouldn’t be causing such ethical and environmental devastation. That’s why it is important to source ethical crystals. Luckily, there are a handful of small, low-impact crystal mines scattered throughout the US.

They have a pretty green operation. They plant trees to offset equipment exhaust, fight water pollution with settlement ponds, prioritize use of solar energy, and restore the mined earth so it may again grow plant life rather than existing as an ugly, rocky scar in nature. It’s actually clean mining, and it is crystal exclusive.

Not everyone can get down to Arkansas to mine their own quartz, so what about ethical sourcing online? There are a handful of stores that promote ethically sourced crystals, including Kacha Stones and Energy Muse, but they don’t list their crystal sources. Their websites simply assure the consumer that they hold high standards for how and where they source their crystals.

The issue is that, although many purveyors of healing crystals promote ‘sustainable and ethical sourcing’, they provide the consumer with little evidence to back it up. They do not usually list the mine (not to mention the country) of origin in the product description, because they may simply not know.

Crystals pass through many hands before they make their way to yours–mines, cutters, tumblers, various buyers and sellers. Without any sort of global regulation, tracing a crystal back to its source is almost impossible for small shop owners and consumers alike.

In a metaphysical way, it makes sense. Is a healing crystal really filled with good, healing energy if it was mined in a harmful manner? Would you feel as good about using those healing crystals that were mined through pollutive and abusive practices by children? Probably not. Take Action!

Lifestyle guru, Gwyneth Paltrow, sells an $85 medicine bag of healing crystals on her popular website, Goop. While none of the crystals have any sourcing information, the site claims that the bag of 8 small crystals “has been energetically cleansed with sage, tuned with sound waves, activated with mantras, and blessed with Reiki.”

Care2 community member, Kelsey B., has created a petition to demand more transparency and increased ethical standards from wellness giant Goop. They have the resources and industry pull to source crystals exclusively from clean, sustainable mines. Not doing so is merely a way for them to hold on to profits while supporting unethical practices.

Would you like to start your own petition to rally for good? It‘ s actually pretty simple–and we‘ ve created this handy guide to get you started. Share your cause with our vibrant, energized community and take actual steps to make real change in the world. Related on Care2