With the holidays coming up soon, I was about to buy a new batch of tea lights. You know, the kind you get in a bag of 50 for 5€. Then it crossed my mind that the last ones I used smelled really bad. They literally smelled like car exhaust. I was pretty confused as to how that was possible. But then I realized that paraffin wax (which tealights are made of) is actually a petroleum byproduct. A quick search confirmed my worries. It turns out that paraffin candles are really quite toxic. Obviously, they’re not supposed to stink like the last batch I bought. But in a way I’m glad they were poorly made. Because – while they are usually treated to be odourless – they ALL pollute the air at home, and that lousy batch is what brought it to my attention. I just couldn’t believe how such a common and innocent looking household item could be such a health hazard.
As I was reading about the dangers of it, I stumbled upon this article: http://wellnessmama.com/22656/dont-use-scented-candles in which the author explains:
Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens). In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes.
This was enough to make me throw all my paraffin candles in the trash! Honestly, I don’t think I will ever burn paraffin candles again. And apparently the scented kind is even worse, as it obviously contains additional crap. So, that’s when I found out about a healthy alternative: beeswax candles. I had heard of them before, but really didn’t know jack about them. It turns out that not only do they not pollute the air, they actually even purify it. Crazy, right? I’m not gonna get into a detailed scientific explanation, but here’s a great article that explains it all, if you’re interested (scroll down to “How beeswax candles clean the air”). Apparently, for some people, it can even soothe asthma and allergies.
So I just had to give it a try!
I wasn’t quite sure where I could possibly buy them. I really don’t know any store in my area that sells such candles. And while Etsy is my go-to alternative site, most items on there ship from the US, meaning that shipping cost is absolutely ridiculous. That’s when I randomly remembered a bunch of e-mails I had been receiving from a website that sells all kinds of eco-friendly products. I’m assuming somebody signed up on that website using my email address (Lisa isn’t exactly an original name), and so I’ve been getting all their promo mail ever since. I don’t know why I never bothered to mark it as spam. But to make a long story short: I finally checked out that site, found beeswax candles right away, and on top of that: it turns out they are located in Belgium, so shipping is super fast and cheap! What were the odds? So I placed my order on Friday and received my package on Monday :-)
I figured the point is to basically re-use the glass holder. And as I wasn’t sure how messy beeswax can get, I didn’t want to risk ruining one of my candle holders. So I purchased the pack that includes one.
They are made in Germany by a small company named “Lichtblick“, so I’m happy to say that my money went to support our European economy!
They smell REALLY nice! The wax itself smells a lot like honey. Which isn’t surprising, since it’s wax made by bees … duh. But I still wasn’t expecting it to smell at all. Once the candle is lit though, there’s no honey smell whatsoever. And in fact, after a while, the air in the room literally smells like it’s been purified. I know, because I used to own one of those electric air purifiers when I lived in North Carolina. And that’s exactly what it reminds me of. So I guess it’s true that burning beeswax cleans the air.
The store I ordered these from is sebio.be. I’m kind of glad that someone mistakenly signed up on their site using my e-mail address, because that’s how I discovered them. And I have to say, I’m one happy customer! They even included two free lollipops to thank me for my purchase :-)
A quick search revealed that these 100% natural lollipops come from this company: www.biomoments.com and are made in Spain.
Cheers to one more step in the healthy direction!