Not everyone fantasizes about being proposed to with a diamond engagement ring. Some environmentally conscious couples are opting for “smog rings,” specialty jewelry that represents their commitment to eradicating pollution.
For years, brides have been eschewing traditional diamond rings because of the ethical and environmental issues associated with their production. According to many reports, sales of diamonds are slowing drastically.
Smog rings are for people who want to do more than simply take an anti-diamond stand as they prepare to walk down the aisle. Each ring consists of thousands of gallons of pollution compacted into a tiny, clear box attached to a band. The smog inside the ring is so toxic that if accidentally inhaled, one’s life expectancy allegedly could decrease up to eight years (good thing the protective case isn’t breakable!).
Chris Ketchledge successfully proposed to his then-girlfriend with a smog-free ring in 2015. “The idea of using something toxic or broken and turning it into something beautiful is inspiring,” he told The New York Times.
Dutch artist and technologist Daan Roosegaarde,the creator of the smog free ring, claims to have sold several for around $290 per piece. With the proceeds, he has built smog free towers, i.e. hugeair-purifiers, in cities across the world, including Bejing, Rotterdam and Krakow. Couples can request to have their rings packed with the pollution from any city where Roosegaarde has a tower.
Of course, those with smog rings probably don’t get as many ooohs and aaahs as those with traditional tokens of affection. One proud owner said raised eyebrows were a common reaction. But in our opinion, smog rings may be the “single” best way to “clear the air” about pollution and other environmental woes with family, friends and strangers.