I know recycling is very important today, so I wanted to let everyone know that I too, am aware of this issue and make sure that the silver, gold and gold filled material I use is made of recycled silver and gold from jewelers like me. We send in the material that is left over whenever we make our jewelry.
Every piece of material, not matter how small, goes into the recycling jar. I even keep the dust from my filing. It adds up. When the jars get full enough - I go by weight, then I send the contents to the recyclers. They in turn will either send me cash, so that I can purchase more materials, or they will give me credit for me to purchase more metal.
This way, instead of relying on mining for more gold and silver, I know I am doing my part to help mother earth by recycling and reusing precious metals. And today, it couldn't be easier, with all the companies out there wanting to purchase your scrap.