Today, on Valentine’s Day, I cannot help but reflect on love– the love of our planet and we the people that inhabit it. What a perfect time to resume this candle blog post that I started weeks ago.
When you light a candle, you ignite an intention: I want to create a romantic ambiance, I want to create a peaceful atmosphere, I want to meditate, etc. Digging more deeply, I cannot think of a better way to express intention and love than choosing products that are good for people and the Earth. Products, such as candles, can effect us personally (self love). They can effect our loved ones (friends and family love). They can effect the people involved directly in their production or the people living near the site of where the raw materials are created or extracted (humanity love). They can also effect the surrounding eco-systems and beyond (planet love).
So, in what ways can you create some interconnected love with your green, eco-friendly candle choices?
Choose candles scented with essential oils
When you smell a scented candle, its scent can effect you in many ways. On one level, there is the pleasure of scent preferences enjoyed. And then, there is the aromatherapy– this is the magic of pure plant essential oils. What a gift mother nature has given us. Just by smelling the bounty of her plants, your brain and nervous system are positively benefited through feelings of relaxation and upliftment. What a great way to give yourself some love or share the with others!
But what happens when you have a candle scented with “fragrance” or “fragrance oils”. The word fragrance includes a includes a whole host of chemicals you, your loved ones and the people involved in the production of these candles should not be breathing in, such as phthalates. Phthalates are endocrine system disruptors, among other unsavory ill effects.
Even if you get a candle from the healthfood store, I would still check to see if they are made with essential oils or fragrances. I have seen the term, “natural fragrance oil”. Is there such thing as natural, non-toxic fragrance that is not an essential oil? Maybe. I have yet to do more research on this, but here is a preliminary teaser: http://www.bathbodysupply.com/category-s/34.htm .
If you find a company that you feel may be wholesome and has the words “natural fragrance” listed as an ingredient, ask them for the complete list of ingredients that make up their “fragrance” . You can research those ingredients online to see if they are safe to use.
Choose organic and/or non-GMO soy candle wax and essential oils
I am holding a soy candle made by Sunbeam Candles. It is a tall, white, unscented pillar candle with an 80 hour burn time. Having purchased it a few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I have enjoyed its glowing warm light many times as we meditate, share intimacy or wind down for bed. The truly nifty thing about this lovely candle is that the soy it contains is non-GMO.
Why buy non-GMO and/or organic? My heart tells me for the love of all life, to support agricultural practices in harmony with the intelligent, life-sustaining system of nature. In nature there is biodiversity; each organism supports the whole of the ecosystem. One organism’s waste is another’s food . This flow and order that has evolved over millions of years to perpetuate the thriving of life. Let’s be part of it.
To get, briefly, more technical (I will be writing more on this later), over 80% of GMO crops are modified to help them withstand heavy-duty sprayings of herbicides. This creates herbicide-resistant “super weeds” and “super bugs” that are very hard to kill. These type of farming practices are not in harmony with nature. These chemicals that kill weeds and pests are also harmful to humans and the eco system. Not to mention, this type of farming also includes the use of of artificial fertilizers. Artificial fertilizers, create nitrogen run-off that flows into streams, rivers and ultimately coastal waters, causing excessive algae bloom and decomposition which depletes oxygen from the oceans and ends up killing the marine life.
Stayed tuned for Part Two of this article, arriving in the next day or so! More valuable, important information regarding people and earth- loving candle choices will be explored. Happy Valentine’s day from my heart to yours!