Everything you want and need to know about eco-friendly candles!
It has become impossible to imagine interior design without candles and we understand why! Candles not only provide warmth and cosiness, but they also have many other advantages. However, when buying a candle, there are a number of things to consider. For example, what is a candle made of? Unfortunately, many candles are still being sold that contain harmful substances. We have researched this thoroughly and have listed the tips for eco-friendly candles for you, because we have to admit, there are some things you should look out for! This way, you can be sure that you and your plants are safe!
Why eco-friendly candles?
Unfortunately, many candles contain harmful substances, both to us and to nature. These substances are released as soon as you start burning a candle. When burning your (scented) candles, a fine substance is released; this happens with every candle, but of course there is a difference between harmful substances and good substances. Two examples of substances are paraffin and stearin. Paraffin is a by-product of the production of crude oil. Paraffin is transported by ship. When cleaning the ship, the waste water, which contains paraffin residues, is simply dumped into the sea. Fish, birds and marine mammals eat the fatty substance and become ill from it. So it is very bad for the ocean. The second substance is stearin, which fortunately has changed somewhat in the meantime. In the past, stearin candles were made of animal fat from offal, but today's stearin candles mainly contain palm oil. Unlike paraffin candles, these candles do consist of natural materials, but they are unfortunately not sustainable. In order to produce these candles, entire rain forests have to be felled. Palm oil can also be cultivated in an environmentally friendly way, which can be recognised by the RSPO certificate (roundtable on sustainable palm oil). Unfortunately, this certificate is not watertight either. Enough reasons to switch to eco-friendly candles!
Types of eco-friendly candles
There are several natural ingredients used to make candles. Below, I highlight some of them, explaining their benefits and what to look out for to make the best choice possible!
Soya wax is made from the oil of soya beans and is completely vegan and environmentally friendly. It is therefore not harmful to the environment. So it is also a plant material, yes! Do you want to be sure that no harmful fertilisers have been used that could harm nature? Then make sure that the soybeans come from organic farming. As soy wax is quite soft by itself, producers often add palm oil to make it harder. Some also add paraffin, which makes the candle a lot cheaper but is not good for the environment. It is therefore very important to look carefully at the label to see if it is made from 100% soy wax. Soy wax has a lower burn rate compared to paraffin, which means it takes longer for the candle to melt. This means you will enjoy your candle longer! In addition, the scent (if it's a scented candle) is spread evenly and doesn’t overpower your entire room. Win-win situation!
The oil is harvested from the rapeseed plant and processed into rapeseed wax. It is also important that this is done in the most environmentally friendly way possible. A strong characteristic of rapeseed wax is that it is easy to add colour when making candles. This means that no harmful colouring agents need to be used. Rapeseed candles also have other good qualities: they burn clean, they are biodegradable (should any residue remain after burning), they are 100% vegetable and they come from Europe. This makes their ecological footprint relatively small. All plus points, don't you think?
Beeswax is a natural substance, it isn’t vegan, but fortunately bees need to be killed for it. The candles are made from honeycombs, the homes of the bees. After a while, the bees stop using the combs and they can be used to make candles! Do you want to burden the environment and animals as little as possible? Then make sure that the beeswax comes from organic beekeeping. Bees are very important for biodiversity and for global food production. So it is a great advantage if you buy candles made by organic beekeeping!
Say yes to eco-friendly!
There are also candles made from coconut or linseed. Enough eco-friendly candles to help the world a little! That is what we all want in the end, isn't it? A better place for each other. Would you like to learn more about candles? We have written two fun blogs where we tell you all about the benefits of scented candles and how to best style your candles in your home.
Plants make Lisa very happy and she is secretly addicted to buying lots of BabyPLNTS. She loves to inspire the community with fun content, from styling tips to plant care to new products!