Ok, here’s what I’m doing as soon as this post goes live…
1. Create a Pinterest Board with an obvious title — something like, “What I Really Want for Mother’s Day.”
2. Pin several pieces of Irma Guzman’s eco jewelry, including the price, since most of what I love is in the $20 to $40 range.
3. Leave my laptop open (to that board) before dinner and ask my husband to look through the pins for a recipe. It’ll take some clicking around for before he realizes that’s not the recipe board…I’ll let you know how it goes
This month, Irma is introducing us to the tagua nut. Also known as “vegetable ivory,” it is a seed that comes from the Phytelephas Macrocarpa palm tree that grows in the tropical rainforest of South America.
The nuts grow in large, spikey clusters… similar to a honeycomb with many nuts inside. These nuts are usually about the size of a walnut, but they can be as small as an olive or as large as an orange. They are pure cellulose and before the nuts mature, they are soft and can be eaten. Irma tells us they taste just like a fresh coconut.
Many tagua nuts have a crack in the center and are practically as dense as ivory. Thankfully, tagua is viewed as a sustainable alternative to the ivory derived from elephants. Sadly, elephants must die for their precious ivory. But tagua palms are a renewable resource; as long as their native habitat is preserved and sufficient seeds are left to perpetuate the palms.
A single female tagua palm may produce up to 50 pounds of nuts in a year. That’s roughly the amount of ivory in an average African elephant tusk. The elephant yields its ivory only once, while the palm produces nuts year after year.
In the seeds Irma uses for her jewelry, no harm is done to the trees they come from. And hundreds of families are employed by the tagua nut production market. It is their livelihood to protect the resources among which they live and work.
Just last month Irma and her team launched their new line of earrings, Marbella (above in Spring Look Book photo) in a variety of Tagua nut colors.
The Amazon Rainforest necklaces are customer favorites as well. Irma shares, “We named it Amazon Rainforest because precisely our tagua nuts are harvested in this rainforest, which is one of the world’s greatest natural resources. Because its vegetation continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen, it has been described as the ‘Lungs of our Planet.’ About 20% of earth’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon rainforest.”
Another exciting newcomer to Irma’s collection is this set of Cumbia cascade earrings, made with tagua nut petals:
If you need any help making your own Mother’s Day list, feel free to ask Irma on Facebook. You’ll quickly find that she’s as kind and helpful as she is talented.
This post was sponsored by Irma Guzman Eco Jewelry, but all opinions are genuinely mine. We only share info about companies that are truly working toward sustainability. See our Disclosure for details.