Your EcoSpiritual Guide to Candles

Updated: Oct 26, 2021



Sooooo I’m a little obsessed with candles (what witch isn’t?). There is just something so comforting about how they flicker and cast their warm glow throughout a space. I used to be that kid (and I guess now adult) who can’t help but stop and smell the candles at a store. Now I used them all the time, as either mood lighting or for my yoga or witchy practices. Candles after all connect to the element of fire and are used for invoking creativity, passion, and action.


Being a candle collector, I was curious about the types of candles out there. Just like cleaning supplies and bath products, were some candles healthier for you, your home, and the environment? Well low and behold, I discovered that all candles are not created equal.


The candle industry has different types of waxes they use in their products. Here is a breakdown of the types of waxes used and where they stand when it comes to sustainability and being green:

 

Paraffin


This type of wax is not only the most common but also the worst for our environment. It’s made from a petroleum based byproduct and releases soot and off-gassing chemicals when lit. This is often a stand-alone wax or mixed with other types of waxes such as soy or palm.


Soy


Soy candles are made from soybean oil which is altered into wax. Many soy-based candle companies actually don’t use 100% soy and use a mixture of either beeswax/soy or worse, soy/paraffin. For a sustainable candle option, get one that is 100% soy. You want as close to organic as possible (and definitely all natural). Technically you cannot have 100% organic soy candles. I was surprised when finding this out, but due to the process of turning soybean oil into wax, chemicals are added. So even if a company uses 100% organic soy (which is rare since 90% of all USA soy is GMO) they still cannot claim to be organic.


Beeswax


When it comes to Beeswax candles, I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. On one ha