Light a Candle for Romance? Make sure it’s made from local beeswax and doesn’t have a lead wick!

Via Merete Mueller
on Oct 27, 2008
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According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, as the nights grow longer and colder and we approach Winter, which is ruled by the Water element, we need to keep balance by adding more Fire to our daily lives. So it seems fitting that the holidays of late autumn and early winter are characterized by candlelight—glowing pumpkins, menorahs, advent wreaths, trees strung with little lightbulbs. During the summer, I usually head out for a hike in the mountains when I get home from work, but now that it’s pitch black by 6:15, you’ll find me unwinding in a hot bath, with some candles burning on the windowsill. 

But, like all products, it turns out we need to pay more attention to where our candles come from and where the paraffin gasses and chemicals go to when they burn. You can find all the details here, in Simran Sethi‘s latest LifeCycle installment. Apparently, a burning a few paraffin candles in your apartment can make the indoor air quality worse than that of Los Angeles.

Local beeswax candles are plain and simple, but with texture and personality. Next best is our local friends Lumia, made from organic soy-based wax instead of offgassing petroleum-based paraffin. Both make perfect holiday gifts for any friends who may need some Fire in their lives. 


About Merete Mueller

Merete is a writer and filmmaker, and was once-upon-a-time the Managing Editor of elephant journal's print incarnation, from 2006-2008. Today, you can find her on Twitter @meretemueller and on her blog To The Bones. Her first documentary, "TINY: A Story About Living Small", about people who have downsized their lives into homes the size of a parking space, premiered at SXSW in March 2013.


3 Responses to “Light a Candle for Romance? Make sure it’s made from local beeswax and doesn’t have a lead wick!”

  1. molly says:

    There is a fair-trade store on Pearl St. (Is it momento or monument or something like that??), fairly new, that is selling beeswax candles much cheaper than you’ll find at Whole Foods.

  2. […] around inside and outside your house. Decorate with fallen leaves and acorns. And set the mood with beeswax candles [rather than petroleum-derived paraffin […]

  3. via our

    Faith G
    Better yet, get a soy candle that doesn't exploit bees. These are great:

    Gyurme Chökyong
    hmmm… soy? Aren't a large amount of soy crops planted over flattened rain forest and guarded with machine guns?
    I could be wrong…

    Gyurme Chökyong
    maybe local soy would be nice, though 😉

    Denise Martino
    Unfortunately I am allergic to soy candles, I have a very hard time breathing and cough uncontrollably when they burn. I love candles though. Sorry about exploiting the bees, but I will have to try it to avoid the ecological pitfalls of traditional paraffin wax candles.

    Mary Fitzsimons
    soy candles are more than likely genetically modified soy candles

    Sandra Leigh
    Here is another alternative: I like to burn ghee in a diya (a small dish of clay or metal from India) with a pure cotton wool wick… it creates the most beautiful, golden colour, lasts a long time and does not burn toxins into the air like a parrafin candle. It is very nice for meditation and yogic tratak gazing exercise… I hope you will try it for Earth Hour… peace to you!

    Jim Ott
    thanks for that tip Sandra