From War to Peace is a uniquely American company with an incredible transformation story. They recycle copper from disarmed nuclear missile systems to create Peace Bronze used in their line of unique art and jewelry. Peace Bronze itself is recycled from missile system cabling found throughout the United States. Casting foundries for Peace Bronze are in New Mexico and California, and local artisans turn it into jewelry and art objects here in the U.S. All of their printed paper is recycled, all plastics they use are biodegradable, and even the server hosting their website uses solar technology to power its computers! I had the chance to talk to Paul Ogren, founder of From War to Peace, about the importance of recycling and the deeper message conveyed with their products.
In Ogren’s words, “The first recorded historical call to recycling action comes in the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, written approximately 2,700 years ago: ‘Turn your swords into plowshares…and nations shall know war no more.’ Apparently God thought recycling was a good idea even way back then! And when we have an opportunity to take and recycle things that are terrifying and hurtful (nuclear weapons), and transform them into something infused with love and beauty (From War to Peace jewelry), we know we are on the right track.”
From the late 1940s into the early 1980s, immense quantities of copper were mined in Montana that ended up as a key element in the most ferocious weapons system ever created. Throughout the upper Midwest, thousands of missiles with nuclear warheads were built, inserted into silos, and aimed at presumed enemies around the world. Thousands of miles of cable connected these missiles to U.S. military command, and now they are used in a line of creative, peace-promoting goods.
“Many miles of the command and control cabling that once powered the most violent weapons ever created have been recycled and transformed into symbols of peace here at From War to Peace,” Ogren continues. “The cabling we recycle once carried launch codes to Minuteman III nuclear missiles at the Grand Forks, North Dakota nuclear missile complex. We have actually eliminated well over half of the nuclear warheads in our world over the past thirty years via disarmament treaties. Tragically, we still have enough of these monstrosities left to destroy every man, woman and child on earth. So we still have much work to do!
“Before we are done, we hope to see all nuclear weapons in our world abolished, disarmed, and transformed. Turning swords into plowshares, bombs into beauty, hate into love, and war into peace – that is why From War to Peace exists.”
Ogren cites the Tree of Life design as his a favorite piece of jewelry. Available in pendants, earrings and bracelets, it was designed especially for them by the wonderful artist Mary Rose O’Leary of Los Angeles. “Our Tree of Life captures perfectly what we are trying to do here at From War to Peace: the transformation of the ugly into the beautiful, the deadly into symbols that affirm our commitment to life, love and a more peaceful world.” The Tree of Life symbolizes the connection of all living things on earth, and is a familiar design in science, religion, philosophy, and mythology.
From War To Peace dedicates 20% of all profit to deserving peace and social justice organizations in the U.S. and around the world.
Fun Fact: The Peace Symbol was created in 1958 for the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament in Great Britain.
In addition to the pendants and other jewelry, check out the great recycled bottle opener below, as part of the From War to Peace Beers Not Bombs collection. This bottle opener is also cast from disarmed nuclear weapon systems.