March is Earth Hour time!

Earth Hour

The beginnings of Earth Hour

The first Earth Hour  was celebrated In March 2007 for just one hour in one city, when everybody turned out the lights to show support for reduced energy consumption and cutting carbon emissions.

Beeswax Jam Jar Tealight candles

Cute little jam jar candles lined up ready for EarthHour

Earth Hour went viral!

The idea quickly spread around the world, embraced by people from every nation!

Jam jar candles as table decorations

Beeswax Jam Jar candles are perfect tabletop candles!

A candlelit dinner, a family barbecue or a community get-together all lit by candles or solar lights, are wonderful ways to join in this movement!

Beeswax Jamjar tealight candles

The cutest little jam jar tealight candles made from pure beeswax!

The trend soon extended beyond the hour, entire cities, towns and suburbs switching off for the entire evening!

In keeping with the idea of cutting carbon emmissions (and more importantly for health reasons) the candles you choose to burn should be beeswax candles. (see the reasons for this choice in our earlier blog here)

The new candle released for this EarthHour is the cute and very practical Jam Jar Tealight. The Jam Jar Tealight has a 4 to 4.5 hour burn time, perfect for an entire evening. The Jam Jar Tealight burns clean, the wax melts and fils the jar and the whole lot is burnt in one evening. No mess, no toxins, no cleanup!

When they are finished, you can pop a refill candle in the jar, ready for next time, or just put the glass jar in the recycle bin.

The Jam Jar Candle was designed by QueenB for and with sustainable designer Joost. These delightful candles have been used in the Greenhouse by Joost enviro-restaurants, so they have been thoroughly tested!

Join in, pledge support for Earth Hour, act now!

Join Earth Hour and switch off the lights, it’s a fun and an easy way to join the growing trend; and a great excuse for a party!

Beeswax candles, as provided by nature

Pure beeswax candles are the best!

March is EarthHour time, time to actively do something to cut your carbon emmissions.

EarthHour badgeNow, for 2013, Earth Hour has challenged participants to switch to green power, and so cut back on carbon emmissions all year round.

It’s time to claim back some clean air, cut the pollution, get together with your community, and enjoy this wonderful world!

The Humble Candle, but which candle is best?

Many candles

We light many candles at once, to make an impact

The humble candle, for passion and love, Birthdays and Christmas, remembrance, devotion and so many other things. Before electricity, candles were precious, expensive, and lighting a candle had meaning. Now you can get candles very cheaply; but lighting a 10c candle doesn’t seem to have the same meaning. So we light many candles…

When we researched candles to find out which candle is best, we considered as many aspects as we could, giving health the highest priority.

Smoke from paraffin candles is toxic

Smoke from paraffin candles is toxic

The common paraffin wax candle was rejected early. Paraffin is a by-product of the petrochemical industry. Dr Peter Dingle (1) found that burning three paraffin wax candles in a room put as much toxins in the air as idling a car in the room. Not good for anyone’s health. It seems it’s healthier to stand by the motorway and breathe in the exhaust fumes! On the plus side, paraffin is very cheap, and you can afford to burn many candles at once, a bit like moving onto the median strip of the motorway and getting the exhaust fumes from all sides.

Hand holding soy bean

93% of all soy beans grown in the USA are Genetically Modified.

The new kid on the block, the soy candle, was cited to have Eco credentials, and was enthusiastically researched. The report by USDA which showed that most of the soy produced in the USA is Genetically Modified (2). Exit the soy candles; GM is not supported by us, for many reasons best discussed in a separate article. I can hear you arguing that soy is safe enough to eat… true, some soy is. Most soy is not. If it is non-GM soy, then it’s better to eat it than burn it.

Next we briefly considered palm oil candles. You don’t have to look too far to find that palm oil is grown in many SE Asian countries.  If we burn the oil in our candles, more rainforests will be cleared to grow more palms to produce more oil. We need rainforests to stabilise the earth’s atmosphere, they are the lungs of the earth.

Orang utans lose their homes to palm oil plantations

Save the rainforests for the Orang utans

They are also the home of the Orangutan, a species close to becoming extinct. Our candle needs are not important enough to go up against that, and we want to feel good when we light a candle. Destroying rainforests doesn’t make us feel good. (3,4)

So far in the candle options, paraffin is out, soy is out, palm oil is out. It’s not looking too good for our birthday cakes!

The final contender is the beeswax candle. The wax made by bees, which coats the side of the ‘frames’ in a commercial beehive, is excellent for your health. It is simply scraped off the hive, warmed and strained to remove any bits of twigs etc., and then moulded or rolled with a cotton wick in the middle. Simple, clean, and it has a divine honey smell (without adding anything to create a smell)

Beeswax candle, pure, clean and naturally honey scented

Beeswax candle, pure, clean and naturally honey scented

Many, many bees work hard to make the wax, they are little guys, and although they work fast, we burn candles fast too.  On the down side (yes, without the bad there is no relative good), beeswax is more expensive than the other waxes, which means you start to cherish lighting a candle, making the lighting of a candle a more meaningful past-time. Birthday candles are suddenly appreciated more, a candlelit dinner becomes more special, and the candlelit bath becomes a real indulgence. When we have ‘special moments’ any old time, they take the shine away from the real special moments. Let a beeswax candle bring back the passion and love to your special moments. Gaze into its’ mesmerizing flame and breathe in deep, enjoying the non-toxic honeyed air brought to you by many, many busy little bees gathering nectar from the flowers. What could be more delightful, more natural, less processed? As far as being good enough to eat, look into the health benefits of honey, propolis and royal jelly. Just plain good for you!

a candle for love

A candle for love

When you think it through, Beeswax Candles are the champion candle choice. In fact it’s our only candle choice!

http://www.drdingle.com/

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us.aspx

http://www.orangutan.org.au/

http://www.orangutans.com.au/

Photos from: sxc.hu hand holding soy bean by pennylayn : deviantart.com orang_utan_II_by_mimose_stock , many_candles_11054611_by_stockproject1-d4c097o , 616___candle_hands_by_WolfC_Stock , Interstate_3_by_Polly_Stock