May 20 2014

Carbon Neutral Pearls

 

Pearls are the only gemstone produced by a living organism. The shiny inside of the mollusc (such as a mussel or oyster) are layers of nacre, a substance the mollusc creates. When a foreign object, such as a bit of grit or a tiny crab, enters their shell they cover it with this same nacre to protect themselves, and this is how a pearl is created. Cultured pearls are created when the small starter object is inserted by a person - man-started, but not man-made.

 

Not only is the quality of cultured pearls significantly better than natural pearls, they’re also great for the environment. Because pearl growing oysters are so sensitive to pollution, their farmers go to great lengths to protect the natural environment around their farms, which results in beautiful areas of fabulous natural biodiversity.

 

Despite all the work the farmers do to look after their pearl growing oysters, they’re under threat from climate change. It’s not just pollution that oysters are sensitive to, but also changes in temperature. It’s believed that an average increase of just 0.3ºC would be fatal to the majority of oysters. Pearl farmers are already seeing the negative effects of climate change as rising seawater levels make some of the more remote pearl farms uninhabitable. 

 

Jersey Pearl have teamed up with the CarbonNeutral Company who are one of the world’s leading carbon reduction companies. After calculating the carbon footprint of the pearls, (the amount of CO2 that is produced by the growth and transport of our pearls from their farms to our customers) they then fund green energy projects which offset this carbon footprint, including supporting the development of a hydroelectric plant in one of the Chinese rivers in which our Freshwater pearls grow. This plant will provide cheap, green energy to the region’s developing communities.