The first thing I like to do on a chilly fall night, is light a few autumnal scented candles around my house. I love the warm and comforting light they give off, and the delightful scents that permeate by little home for hours. Of course, I want to make sure that I’m choosing the best candles for the environment, so I did a little research on which ones are the least harmful.
But are regular candles actually harmful? Some are! Candle soot is a form of indoor air pollution. The US Environmental Protection Agency has found that paraffin candles release carbon soot, which in addition to blackening walls, ceilings, and furniture, can contaminate ventilation ducts and add potential carcinogens to the air. Never use candles that have metal wicks and look carefully at aromatherapy candles – as they are notorious for serious soot. Another candle ingredient – paraffin – is a petroleum product, which is not a renewable resource and is a polluting material.
For the green home, I recommend three kinds of candles: Beeswax, soy and palm oil. Beeswax candles smell wonderful, they are nontoxic, soot-free, and non-allergenic. They’re completely renewable and they burn much longer than regular paraffin candles. Candles made from soybean-based wax are often vegan, they do not create and they are biodegradable. They also super slow burners – so they will last longer, making them far more economical! Palm oil candles get their wax comes from coconuts so they are wonderfully renewable. They burn super clean and they last a really long time.
Read the label carefully, especially if you are vegan. Many candles are made with stearic acid, which is an animal-derived fat that comes from meatpacking plants.