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The Green Life: Tell Costco: Follow the Golden Rule

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July 01, 2011

Tell Costco: Follow the Golden Rule

Dirty gold

One gold ring can generate 20 tons of mining waste. And the gold industry is notorious for violating human rights, especially in indigenous communities. The tarnished truth is that, in gold, business as usual is destructive. Costco, for one, doesn't seem to care. 

Earthworks' "No Dirty Gold" campaign strives to improve the gold-mining industry, partially via the "Golden Rules" pact which commits companies to buying only responsibly mined gold. Seventy major retailers have signed, including giants like Tiffany's and JCPenney. But everyone's favorite bulk store isn't being as cooperative.

Costco is one of only two of the 10 top-grossing U.S. jewelry merchants refusing to sign the Golden Rules. In the wake of a searing documentary exposing companies' involvement in the dirty gold system, more than 25,000 people have written to Costco executives, urging them to sign the pact. Just this week, hundreds flooded the company's Facebook page with comments like “COSTCO: Until you sign on with the No Dirty Gold Campaign's Golden Rules, you're just as dirty as the gold you are selling. Just say no to exploiting humans and our environment.”

According to Nick Magel, coordinator of Earthworks’ No Dirty Gold campaign, “Costco’s customers want to know whether Costco is taking the steps necessary to provide them with gold products that did not come at the expense of human rights or clean water. Their customers deserve better, as do communities impacted by irresponsible gold mining practices.”

Want to be a part of the movement? Learn more, join the No Dirty Gold campaign, and add your voice on Costco's Facebook page.

--Christa Morris

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