Longreads

You try to shop local and drive less. Your dog’s compostable poop bags are made from corn. Maybe you use jade to increase sexual energy, or wear a clear quartz necklace to clarify your thoughts. But in our complex global economy, some products’ true origin can elude even the greenest consumer. For The New Republic, Emily Atkin exposes the healing crystal industry’s inability, and unwillingness, to identify all of their crystals’ sources, which conflicts with the new agey, wholistic reasons people use crystals.

Most of the US’s healing crystal stores buy their stock at the annual Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase in Tucson, Arizona. Even though some vendors try to source responsibly, others’ crystals come from environmentally and ethically dubious mining operations. For instance, the jade that’s marketed for sexual healing might come from Myanmar, whose jade industry Al Jazeera called “the biggest natural resource heist in modern history.”

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