There's a community mining project taking place at The Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College.
But participants are not gathering minerals, but instead the jewelry that comes from them. "It's kind of amazing how wasteful and toxic mining of precious metals is," said Jeff Georgantes, the Jewelry Studio's Director.
Take, for example, gold. "Theoretically, there already is enough gold in the world to serve people's needs for the rest of time without needing to mine anymore," Georgantes said.
The "Radical Jewelry Makeover" project is highlighting that issue by creating new jewelry from the pieces that already exist. Organizers hope people will toss their old unwanted necklaces and bracelets into drop boxes set up around the Upper Valley. You'll find them in the college's box office, various Mascoma Bank locations in Lebanon and Hanover, and the clothing store Revolution in White River Junction -- anyone can donate.
"It is a great use for old stuff that everybody has. So many people have tangled up Jewelry that you don't want to throw away," said Revolution's Kim Souza.
Later this Spring the public will be invited to attend a two hour workshop to take the old items and turn them into new creations. It's been made possible by a three year grant called the Community Venture Initiative. "We are looking for ways where people can increase the way they participate in the HOP and also to remove barriers to there participation," said the HOPS's Rebecca Bailey.
Anyone can take part as long as they have some old jewelry they are willing to part with. "It is going to be a really fulfilling, creative venture for all different facets of the community," Georgantes said.
The new jewelry will eventually be sold and part of the proceeds will benefit a nonprofit that supports the ethical mining of minerals around the world. Organizers say its a good way to create a little art for a good cause.