While perusing the isles of my local mart, I was attracted to all the fall candle scents- apple cinnamon, dulce latte, caramel apple etc… I could picture my house clean and the leaves falling outside with my candles lit filling my house with yummy smells. And then I snapped out of it, realizing my 5 year old son will probably shove the lighter into the hot wax spill the candle wax on the carpet simultaneously ruining the $12.00 candle, the lighter and the carpet in one smooth swoop as soon as my back is turned. Unfortunately this is not just an unfounded thought getting lost in my imagination, but an actual occurrence- height is no deterrent to a cunning and crafty boy, all you need is a bar stool and about 2 minutes.
The other issue with burning candles is the toxins. Some candles emit lead from the wick- the use of lead in wicks has been banned in the US, however the ban is difficult to enforce and the candles are relatively easy to find, the law doesn’t require the candle to be labeled which provides another easy way to omit pertinent info. Candles can also be filled with preservatives to help them burn longer, when the additives breakdown during the burning process the chemicals can be released into the air downgrading the air quality in your home. Most candles are made with paraffin which is a petroleum product- when burned the paraffin emits byproducts some of which include carbon dioxide a common green house gas. In reality burning candles are small on the scale of eco slights but it’s good to consider the lingering effects.
A few tips to try:
- Look for a cotton or paper wick
- Try for a beeswax or soy wax candle
- Look into keeping a friendly house plant to help filter and purify the air in your home
- Consider using scented oil with a heat lamp to scent your home
- Try making homemade potpourri (you can also use some old spanks and keep this in your drawers spreading aroma into the nooks and crannies)