Recycled Bomb Accessories for a Social Enterprise Twist on Eco-Jewelry

peaceBOMB eco jewelry - social enterpriseThere are numerous ways to create eco-friendly jewelry, but we bet you’ve never heard of bomb-based jewelry! That’s right, these two social enterprises have taken something incredibly violent and destructive and turned it into a source for good by transforming former symbols of war and conflict into accessories meant for peace and sustainability. Not only do these social enterprises help recycle used bombs – which in itself is incredibly sustainable – they also help to create employment and profits based on concepts of healing and reconciliation.

Undetonated Laotian Bombs Turn Bangle – peaceBOMB

peaceBOMB recycled jewelry - social enterpriseDuring the 1960s and 70s, hundreds of millions of bombs were dropped on Laos over a 9-year time span known as the Secret War intended to stop the spread of communism. Today, 30% of those unexploded ordinances (UXOs) remain in the countryside, posing a threat to local inhabitants and the environment. It is estimated that it may take up to 800 years to remove all of these bombs.

But peaceBOMB is working to create a market for the materials contained in UXOs by developing a line of beautiful recycled aluminum jewelry. Based on techniques developed by a loan man who started collecting scrap metal, including UXOs, and turning it into hand-sculpted spoons, peaceBOMB provides employment for local residents in a number of ways. To start, they buy back the bombs from people who find them, thereby helping to make the countryside safer and UXO-free. Then they employ artisan families to melt down and transform the aluminum from the bombs into bangles, spoons, cufflinks, charm bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Each one of a kind peace is hand crafted and then packaged in a woven organic cotton pouch with a story card.

From Nuclear Bombs to Peace Bronze – From War to Peace

From War to Peace - green businessesFrom War to Peace is another social enterprise connecting war with art with their jewelry made from disarmed and recycled nuclear weapon systems. Based on the principle that war is failure and that peace is triumph, this green business believes in turning symbols of destruction into art that expresses sentiments of reconciliation.

Founded by Paul and Sandee Orgren in the US, From Peace to War takes disarmed nuclear missile systems and recovers the copper to create Peace Bronze. They also make use of recycled silver and gold for plating their unique jewelry pieces. This Made in America company also gets inspiration from local heritage by employing local artisans to make each piece of wearable art.

This social enterprise is listed in the Top 6 for 2012.

This post was written by:

Maryruth Belsey Priebe

Maryruth has been seeking the keys to environmental justice - both at home and at work - for over a decade. Growing up adjacent to wild spaces, Maryruth developed a healthy respect (and whimsical appreciation) for things non-human, but her practical mind constantly draws her down to earth to ponder tangible solutions to complex eco-problems.

With interests that range from green living to green business, sustainable building designs to organic gardening practices, ecosystem restoration to environmental health, Maryruth has been exploring and writing about earth-matters for most of her life. Of special interest is the subject of ecopsychology and the role the natural world plays in the long-term health and well-being of humanity. You can learn more about Maryruth's work at

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