Sustainable Candles - Benefits and How to Choose Them
Candles have been used for decoration and practical purposes for thousands of years. However, oftentimes the production of conventional candles can have a negative impact on the environment and health. Fortunately, sustainable candle options are becoming increasingly available, offering a way to enjoy candles while minimising harm to the planet. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of sustainable candles and tips for choosing and using them.
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability can be defined as the ability to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is about finding a balance between economic, social, and environmental factors to ensure long-term well-being for both people and the planet. This means making choices and taking actions that consider the impact of our actions on the environment, society, and economy in the long term, rather than just focusing on short-term gains.
What Are Sustainable Candles?
Sustainable candles are made from natural, renewable, and biodegradable materials that have a lower environmental impact than traditional candles.
What Makes a Candle Sustainable?
- Natural Wax
Sustainable candles are made from natural waxes such as soy wax, coconut, rapeseed or beeswax. These materials are renewable and biodegradable, making them a more eco-friendly option than petroleum-based paraffin wax, which is commonly used in conventional candles. If you’re looking for a candle that is both sustainable and vegan, avoid candles made from beeswax.
- Natural Fragrances
- Recyclable Packaging
- Vessels That Can Be Upcycled
- Refillable Candles
- Method of Production
This one is tricky. We’re usually fans of hand-poured candles for the purpose of sustainability in jobs. However if you’re looking for low energy usage, mass production can work out as less wattage per candle due to the scale at which wax can be melted, combined with fragrance oils and then poured. However, the majority of candles that are mass produced in this manner do use paraffin based wax so the drawbacks often significantly outweigh the benefits.
Benefits of Choosing Sustainable Candles
There are several reasons to choose sustainable candles over conventional candles, including:
- Environmental Benefits
Sustainable candles are made from natural and renewable materials, which have a lower environmental impact than conventional candles. They are also biodegradable, meaning they can decompose naturally without releasing harmful chemicals into the environment.
- Health Benefits
Traditional candles can release harmful chemicals into the air when they are burned. Sustainable candles, on the other hand, are made from natural materials that are safe to burn and do not release harmful pollutants.
- Better Quality
Sustainable candles are often made by small-batch producers who focus on quality and sustainability. This means that the candles are often of higher quality, longer-lasting, and have a more natural scent.
Tips for Choosing and Using Sustainable Candles
When choosing and using sustainable candles, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Look for natural ingredients
Choose candles made from natural waxes and natural fragrances to ensure that they are eco-friendly and safe to burn.
- Avoid petroleum-based waxes
Petroleum-based waxes like paraffin are not renewable and can release harmful pollutants when burned. Stick to natural waxes like soy or beeswax instead.
- Consider the wick
Look for candles with cotton wicks, as they are safer and more environmentally friendly than wicks made from metal or other materials.
- Burn candles responsibly
Always trim the wick to 1/4 inch before lighting the candle and never leave a burning candle unattended. This will ensure that the candle burns evenly and safely.
- Repurpose or recycle the container
Once the candle is finished, consider repurposing or recycling the container to minimise waste.
In conclusion, sustainable candles offer a way to enjoy the ambiance of candlelight while minimising harm to the environment and human health. By choosing candles made from natural, renewable, and biodegradable materials, we can enjoy the benefits of candlelight while being responsible stewards of the planet.