Candles have gone from being a necessity to feeling like a treat – but gorgeous flickering light is not all there is to it: there are health and eco-friendly facts to unravel before choosing a candle. And it’s all about what wax is used…
Candles are usually made of ubiquitous paraffin – just like mineral oil and petrol, paraffin is derived from crude oil. And it is just as bad for the environment and your lungs as mineral oil is bad for your skin. Paraffin requires intensive manufacturing (the type with a heavy carbon footprint) before it transforms into a scented candle or cheap tea light. What’s more, burning paraffin candles in poorly ventilated rooms increases indoor air pollution and creates carcinogens that end up in our lungs.
There are better and healthier alternatives – soy and beeswax candles come out on top against paraffin. Beeswax is a natural by-product in the manufacture of honey, and even improves air quality while it is burning. Soy candles are also a better choice but only if the soy beans are grown sustainably.
So when choosing a candle you should look past price point (and put down the 100 pack of tea lights from your nearest Ikea). Instead, go for a candle that is good for your health, for your carbon footprint and the environment all at once.
(Image credit Light Up Your World – with some handy tips on candle burning!)