Welcome to Re-Sourced

Defining the Questions

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Re-Sourced began after I'd worked in retail for a few years. I became interested in researching gemstone consumerism and the questions of sustainability and ethics associated with them (see "Tools for Healing? Buying into Gemstone Culture" for more specifics) and returned to an academic atmosphere with these questions; from the context of an Environment, Science, and Medical Writing course, I began formal research from angles of environmental studies, contemporary spiritual trends, and holistic health popularity. My line of inquiry was not so much whether gemstone mining is sustainable — it's not difficult to establish from online searches the environmental and social detriment of mining. The focus of my research developed from the perspective of cultural influences on gemstone consumerism— the natural result of my previous studies through literature. The more I thought about this, the more connections I made between gemstone consumerism, contemporary spirituality, and nineteenth-century imperialism, spiritualism, and domestic mining practices that included child labor. With postcolonialism as a theoretical  perspective and the beginnings of the New Age movement as a historical backdrop to the project, the result was a course-required website entitled, Points of Healing, Points of Mine, published in 2018.  

In late 2021, I unintentionally connected my gemstone research with my advocacy for animal welfare. Because of my previous work and research, my mind associated Afghan lapis lazuli, categorized as a conflict gem because of its affiliation with the Taliban, with the unfolding events and this time my mind fixated also on the dramatic efforts of animal rescue that took place—and now continue in Ukraine.  In 2022, I'm revising under the new title to accommodate elaborated research to discuss eco- and ethical consumerism from is varied angles.

Stated another way, Re-Sourced is a research-based sustainable living blog, and the subjects and themes I write about develop organically, as they occur to me in day-to-day life involving eco-consumerism/sustainability/conservation, holistic health, contemporary spirituality, and human & animal rights issues; I don't attempt to speak to every problem that falls under these categories. But I write from the persuasion that, even if many of these challenges are more a matter of government regulations than of individual decisions, we're more effective with an articulated thought process. And often, it is up to us as individuals to question our decisions and choices, and that's why I ask challenging questions about the motivations of consumerism and the thoughts and beliefs that influence it — and then about what motivates us to re-evaluate our current systems.

While Re-Sourced retains and expands on my previous gemstone research, it is an independent project, unaffilated with a university.

 

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Melanie S. Demmer is a freelance writer & editor focusing on sustainability, animal welfare, contemporary spirituality, holistic health, and cultural preservation.

Email: info@melaniesdemmer.com

Melanie worked on the main floor. She wore bright colours, like orange and hot pink, because she said they created a positive and energetic atmosphere, and anyway, she was part gypsy at heart. She was always brisk and smiling, though on the lookout for shoplifting. [...] Sometimes, she was overwhelmed. There was too much fabric, it was like the ocean, waves of cloth coming in and threatening to drown her. Cashmere! [...] One was always buying something.

The Testaments, Margaret Atwood

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