Do you also love cozy evenings in the glow of candlelight?
Almost EVERYONE in Sweden loves light, perhaps because we have many dark winter months per year. Candles make it cozy in our homes and give us heat and lighting as a complement to electricity. But many candles are not healthy for us humans, nor environmentally friendly for our planet. Not everyone is aware of that, so I thought I would write a little about different masses of light.
- Paraffin candles, Paraffin is an environmentally hazardous substance made from fossil material, a residual product from the oil industry, which when it gets hot releases carcinogenic substances such as benzene and large amounts of carbon dioxide which contribute to the greenhouse effect. Researchers have concluded that particles from paraffin candles can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and the Norwegian Public Health Institute informed in 2014 that paraffin candles can be as bad as passive smoking. The Nature Conservation Society in Sweden also warns those about harmful particles that are released from paraffin candles.
- Candles come from, among other things, animal fat from slaughter waste and may contain the environmentally unfriendly palm oil that contributes to the destruction of rainforests. Candles have a climate footprint on emissions from animal husbandry.
- Soy wax candles may contain the environmentally unfriendly palm oil that contributes to the destruction of rainforests. Soy wax is a natural product made from soybeans and burns with a clean flame with less soot particles than paraffin. Soybeans are not grown in northern Europe and are not the best environmental choice for the Swedish market.
- Beeswax candles have a longer burning time than other candles and they spread a naturally lovely scent of honey. Beeswax is a pure natural product that forms water vapor when burned, and they are ionizing and clean the indoor air from dust and particles. Beeswax is produced only by honey bees (not manufactured in a factory) and is a by-product from excess in beekeeping that benefits nature with increased pollination. If Swedish beeswax is used, it contributes to biological diversity in Sweden.
- Rapeseed wax candle is an environmentally friendly and natural vegetarian product made from rapeseed oil. Rapeseed oil is produced from cold or hot pressing of rapeseeds. Rapeseed is grown in northern Europe and grows rapidly. The plantations help keep open landscapes and capture the nitrogen from our car exhausts. Does not require long transport routes to Sweden. Rapeseed wax is a renewable raw material that does not emit carbon dioxide when burned.
- Swan-labelled candles are a fairly good environmental choice as they contain at least 90% renewable raw materials such as stearin (must not contain palm oil), beeswax or rapeseed wax, but they can contain up to 10% paraffin. In order to be Swan-labelled, there is a good control of soot particles, but they are still not the best environmental choice as they may contain paraffin.
The best climate-smart and healthy choice in Sweden is canola wax and beeswax.
Greetings Säljans Beegård.