08 Feb Why Choosing Sustainable Candles Is the Best Choice
Candles are having a resurgence in popularity—they’re a classic way to add atmosphere and fragrance to any space. But when choosing the right candle, it’s important to remember that not all candles are created equal.
It may seem like a small choice, but when it comes to sustainable candles, the stakes are high. Too few among us know that recycling is merely a last resort for unmanaged waste; making the right choice upfront through sustainable practices is the best way to reduce our impact on the environment.
That’s why choosing a sustainable candle is so important—and, unfortunately, too often overlooked in favour of cheaper options made with unsustainable materials.
Does that mean your lazy Sunday night ambience must suffer? Absolutely Not! Making the switch to sustainable candles is a simple step that can have a big impact on the environment.
Let’s take a closer look at why choosing the right type of candle is so important and why sustainable candles are your best bet!
What’s the Difference Between Sustainable and Unsustainable Candles?
Before anything else, it’s best to lay out the difference between sustainable and unsustainable candles. Hey, not all of us are experts in sustainable candles (yet).
Unsustainable candles are typically made with paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum, with chemical-derived fragrances, and cotton wicks that may contain pesticides.
Not only is paraffin wax not biodegradable, but burning it also releases pollutants such as toluene and benzene—chemicals that are known to be hazardous for humans and the environment alike.
Sustainable candles, on the other hand, are made with natural waxes like soy or beeswax, non-toxic fragrances, and lead-free wicks. These clean burning waxes are not only better for the environment, but they can also last up to three times longer than paraffin candles.
How’s that for empowering retail companies for climate action?
So, What Are the Benefits of Sustainable Candles?
Now that we’ve established what makes a candle sustainable and why it matters, let’s dive into some of the main benefits.
First off, sustainable candles are better for your health. They don’t have as many toxins and pollutants, allowing you to enjoy the ambience of a candle-lit room without breathing in chemicals.
They’re also better for the environment. Since paraffin wax doesn’t degrade naturally, it piles up in landfills like any other plastic material. Sustainable candles, on the other hand, are biodegradable, meaning they can be safely composted after use.
Finally, sustainable candles typically last longer than paraffin wax and even come in a variety of scents and sizes. So you won’t have to worry about buying new candles as often or compromising on any of your favourite scents.
What to Look For When Shopping for Sustainable Candles
Now that we’ve established why sustainable candles are the way to go, let’s take a look at what you should be on the lookout for when shopping.
Natural waxes like soy, coconut, hemp seed, and beeswax are a good sign that the candle is sustainable. Check for lead-free wicks—these will usually be made of wood, paper or even bamboo.
One of the biggest hurdles you’ll face as you transition to sustainable candles is the subtler scent. It’s hard to look for the same strong fragrance as paraffin wax, but you’ll be able to find a variety of options with natural oils and fragrances. It will take some time to retrain your nose, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
Ingredients you can trust
Make sure you can read the list of ingredients on the label and avoid any chemical-sounding names. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t recognize an ingredient, it’s best to stay away. Some of the better-known ingredients of sustainable candles include essential oils, natural resins, and plant extracts.
Eco-friendly packaging is also something to look out for. Cardboard packaging is usually a safe bet and easier to recycle than plastic ones. Look for options that are recyclable and/or biodegradable to make sure you’re doing your part. Paper or wood pulp are great indicators of sustainably sourced packaging.
Going with brands built around sustainability
Finally, it’s always best to go for candles made by companies that are transparent about their materials and practices. Take the time to research the company and look for any third-party certifications or eco-labels that can guarantee you’re getting a sustainable product.
Remember: these candles will be burning inside your home, so you want to make sure that you’re only bringing in the safest and most natural ingredients. You don’t want the air you and your family breathe to be full of pollutants and toxins, do you?
Candles have been around since the prehistoric days, and we’ve come a long way since then. Sustainable candles are the perfect way to bring some warmth into your home while also making sure you’re not compromising on air quality or contributing to plastic waste.
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for sustainable candles, go ahead and bring a little extra light and joy into your life—without compromising your values. It’s time to make the switch!