How Eco is your candle?

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

For over 5,000 years, candles have been used to light homes, help people travel at night, a symbol of worship and religion or nowadays, a way to unwind with a night soaking and surrounded by suds in the tub. They are known to have a number of benefits for our wellbeing but more on that later.


Candles have commonly been made from animal fats or paraffin, which we now know releases chemicals which can cause problems affecting your skin, health and environment.

However, when it comes to Zero-waste candles, many of the alternatives might not be as sustainable as you think. We breakdown their primary components and shed light on some of the issues with your "eco-friendly" candle


PALM OIL

The problem with palm oil is that it’s irresponsible plantation expansion is devastating critical habitat of threatened species, causing social conflict and environmental damage, particularly in Asia where 85% of the oil comes from. Palm oil is now the most widely used vegetable oil in the world. It’s in everything (almost half the packaged foods on supermarket shelves!) and it’s killing Orangutans elephants, tigers and rhino. Our advice, check the ingredients list and avoid palm oil as much as you're able!


BEESWAX


As beeswax isn’t vegan, it’s unfortunately not for everyone. However, it’s a natural, biodegradable wax that burns slowly, smokeless, and it naturally cleans the air by neutralizing toxins. The only problem is if you’re into candles that smell good, it’s really hard to scent beeswax and best in its natural, un-coloured and honey scented form.


SOY WAX

Even though it’s a natural, renewable and biodegradable wax that burns slowly and cleanly, it’s sometimes not the most sustainable one. There are concerns regarding the massive soybean industry causing deforestation and their use of pesticides and fertilisers.

Look for Soy candles that have been responsibly sourced from RTRSA certified plantations or traceable soy crops. If you're not sure, just ask!



ESSENTIAL OILS

Unlike synthetic fragrances, essential oils are natural extracts made from plants and flowers. Essential oils are often used for their therapeutic and nourishing qualities. In their concentrated form they’re very powerful and should be handled with great care.



COTTON OR WOODEN WICKS

Eco-friendly wicks will tend to be lead and metal free; usually made from natural and clean-burning materials like cotton, hemp or wood. Make sure to cut the wick before lightening your candles for a cleaner burn, keeping them away from drafts to prevent you producing soot.


Here at Forever and Green we have responsibly sourced candles that are made with only two natural ingredients: essential oils and renewable, biodegradable soy wax. As a result, they are plant-based, vegan, and cruelty-free! Make sure to check them out here!


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