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.
7 (Free!) Ways to Reduce and Reuse
These tips and tricks will help you reduce your waste while saving the planetand some money.
Read More »
5 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly
From city studios to country bungalows, green your abode with these practical and stylish eco-friendly tips.
Read More »
9 Tips for Natural Allergy Relief
Toss out your antihistamine pills and battle seasonal allergy-induced sneezing with natural products.
Read More »
Leather: What's Wrong With It?
In addition to leathers unethical side, its environmental effects are less-than stylish.
Read More »
5 Ways Being Vegan Saves The Planet
Want to do something for Mother Earth? Ditch the meat and find out how your diet affects the environment.
Read More »
- Tips for Buying Eco-Friendly Flowers
- 10 Easy Swaps for an Eco-Friendly Home
- Chicken Factory Farms Cause Pollution Nightmare for NC
- Study Finds Fur Potentially Toxic to Children
- Study: Grass-fed Beef is Destroying the Environment
- Home Depot to Phase Out Bee-Killing Insecticide
- James Cameron Urges Environmentalists to Go Vegan
- Outside Magazine: Vegans Will Own the Podium
- Alicia Silverstone Speaks Out on Climate Change
- FDA Approves First GMO Animal
- Government Sued For Letting Nestlé Bottle Water During Drought
- 9 Things We Didn't Know About Animals
- US Government Tackles Nations Food Waste
- Cow-Free Milk Wins First Place Sustainability Award
- 70 Percent of Honey Found to Contain Pesticides
- New Study: A Vegan World is a Better World
- 5 Quotes from the Man Who Helped Overturn Idaho's Ag-Gag Law
- 13 DIY Projects to Celebrate Earth Day
- DIY Vegan Holiday Gifts
- DIY Hair & Skin Care