Hello Diana! Did you ever think of stainless steel? My girlfriend and
I are currently working on our wedding rings and since we're not the
delicate-jewelry type of jewelers/jewelry wearers, we turned
ourselves to steel after realizing that the cost of 18K white gold is
too expensive for our design. Canada is a big steel producer, so you
won't have any problems in finding some.
Good [desperate] luck in finding environment-and-worker friendly