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Candles and sustainability
Do they go together?

The days are getting shorter and Advent is beginning. It’s the time of year when candles light up and wrap windowsills and the Advent wreath in a warm glow. Many people in Europe are probably familiar with this cozy, warm atmosphere. But how sustainable is the use of candles?
The sad reality is that sustainable candles only account for a small proportion of global use. Around two thirds of all candles sold in Germany, for example, are made of kerosene. A by-product of the oil industry and therefore a fossil raw material. Similarly, the second most common candle raw material, stearin, is mostly made from palm oil, which is associated with the clearing of rainforests. Neither of these are sustainable raw materials, as they are extracted in a way that is harmful to the climate. In this context, candlelight no longer seems so cozy and peaceful.

What can we do apart from avoiding candles?

A good first step is to recycle leftover candles and wax. Candles can be quickly and easily recast. Any thick cotton thread can be used as a candle wick and there are virtually no limits to your creativity. Especially with children in the household, recycling is a lot of fun and helps to avoid throwing away wax.


Candles can be easily melted down and recast.

By making a conscious choice when buying candles, you can have a big influence, because fortunately there are actually regional and sustainable options:

  1. Beeswax candles
    Beeswax is a natural product that is produced by honey bees.
    Sustainable beeswax candles come from beekeepers who work according to ecological standards and help to support the bee population.

  2. Rapeseed wax candles:
    Rapeseed wax is derived from rapeseed oil grown in agriculture.
    It is a renewable resource and can be an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional wax.
  3. Candles made from recycled biomass:
    These candles are made from recycled fats and oils that are by-products of the food industry. Recycling prevents these materials from ending up as waste.

In addition to these regional options for sourcing wax from sustainable sources, there are also a few things you can look out for with international products.

For example, you can give preference to palm oil-free candles to avoid the negative environmental impact associated with palm oil. Various certificates and environmental standards also help you to make a sustainable decision when shopping. Deutsche Umwelthilfe offers you an online candle check, which provides us with further advice and facts.

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