Cozy-up your home this season with the warm glow of candles—and be sure to skip the carcinogens.
When the days grow shorter and the dark of night begins its wintry reign, you know the signal to cozy-up your living space and create a nurturing environment has been officially sounded. A key ingredient in this process is the addition of candles. They provide ambience at dinner parties, set the mood for romantic evenings at home, and even play a role in our spiritual lives, giving our personal spaces a warm, peaceful glow. They smell good, look good, and cast a snuggly light that begs for you to whip up a cup of hot cocoa and settle in for the night. Best of all, today's cruelty-free, alternative-wax candles support our desire to live compassionately while keeping the home fires burning with a cozy warmth.
The Joy of Soy (Candles)
Most candles are made with paraffin—a petroleum waste-product. When burned, paraffin releases carcinogenic toxins like benzene and soot into the air, which, in addition to being dangerous for your lungs (and your animal companion's lungs), can settle on furniture and countertops, damaging surfaces. A better bet for a soot-free home is soy. That's right: The mighty soybean that yields so many health benefits also lends itself to candles. Natural soy-wax candles are not only healthier for the environment, but more economical, too, because they burn up to 50-percent longer than their paraffin counterparts.
Mother Nature has generously supplied us with another natural source of cruelty-free candle wax in the bayberry. You could call bayberry the "patriotic alternative to paraffin," since colonial Americans were the first to transform the teensy little berry into candle wax. Today, as in the past, bayberry candles enjoy extra popularity around the holidays, when they are burned to bring good luck for the coming year. When scouting for these special candles, be sure the wax consists of pure bayberry (a pleasant, delicate fragrance on its own) and not artificially scented paraffin wax.
My quest for cruelty-free candles made from renewable resources brought me to an unexpected source: palm wax. Like olive oil, palm wax oil is a "virgin" oil that doesn't require refining—just a bit of filtering and deodorizing. Shaped from the fruit of the oil palm, palm wax candles also burn clean and last longer than those made with paraffin, and are a fabulous alternative to beeswax—the production of which usually involves drug and pesticide treatments, genetic tampering, wing clipping, and the use of manufactured pheromones. There's nothing natural about that.
Once you've made the choice to bring natural-wax candles into your home, be sure any added fragrance is pure, essential oil—otherwise your good intentions will go literally up in smoke as harmful by-products from artificial scents are released into the air.
There is no denying the magic of candlelight. With a little detective work, you can enjoy the beauty and comfort of candles while keeping your home cruelty- and toxin-free.
These online retailers offer candles for the conscious consumer.
A Scent of Scandal
This vegan-owned company is committed to creating quality soy-wax candles—and a healthy dose of sass to match. Our favorite scent? Oh Snap! Smells like fresh-baked gingerbread.
There's one of these organic soy-wax candles for every sign of the zodiac. Not into astrology? The packaging is subtle enough that you'll never notice you're actually an Aries.
The company known for its beautifully-designed perfumes also produces a seductive line of scented votives. Try Bourbon Island Vanilla, Zanzibar Cinnamon Almond, or the Indian Chai scent.
GMO-free soy wax and cotton wicks are just two reasons to love these green candles. With soothing scents such as Lavender & Geranium and Vetiver & Sweet Orange, you'll be relaxed in no time flat.
5 Vegan Products to Help with Spring Cleaning
Keep your home clean and your ethics in check with these cruelty-free cleaners.
Read More »
How to Have the Perfect Vegan Backyard for Spring
Buzzing bees, chirping birds, and homegrown vegetables will have your backyard set for spring.
Read More »
4 Ways to Celebrate a Vegan Earth Day
Make your Earth Day (and every day!) vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.
Read More »
5 Ways to Celebrate Spring with a Vegan Twist
Put a progressive spin on holiday traditions without foregoing the festive feelings of the season.
Read More »
5 Things You Can Do This Spring to Help Animals
Theres plenty to do this season to help animals while renewing your compassionate lifestyle.
Read More »
- The VegNews Guide to Eco-Friendly Holiday Trees
- The Holidays Do Not Give You the Right to Ruin the Planet
- 8 Cool Foods to Plant Now
- 10 Vegan-Friendly Ways to Lather Yourself in Pumpkin
- 5 Vegan Sofas to Improve Your Living Room
- 5 Ways to Throw a Summer Vegan Birthday Party
- 11 Vegan Clothing Companies that Let You Wear Your Ethics on Your Sleeve
- 7 Ways to Make Sure Youre Buying Vegan-Friendly Clothing
- 5 Tips to Veganize Your Summer Spaces
- 3 Types of Vegan Leather for Your Home, Car, and Closet
- The Environmental Impacts of Going Vegetarian for Just One Day
- 5 Vegan Spring Date Ideas
- 7 Deals to Celebrate Earth Day
- 6 Easy Ways to Go Green Right Now
- 6 (More) Reasons to Go Vegan
- 4 DIY Holiday Decorating Tips
- 7 Vegan Candles to Create a Cozy Winter Home
- The 6 Best Winter Nail Colors
- 7 (Free!) Ways to Reduce and Reuse
- 5 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly