Tuesday, April 06, 2010
I love the atmosphere that flickering candlelight and scented candles give, but did you know that burning candles, especially paraffin candles, can be bad for the environment? I guess I should have realized this from seeing the black soot up on our ceiling after we've burned too many candles!
I found this out when Makana Candles offered to send me one of their soy candles to review, and I did a little research on the internet. Apparently paraffin wax is a byproduct of oil refining and releases a number of carcinogens when burned -- basically, the soot given off from the burning of paraffin candles is the same as that given off by burning diesel fuel! Great... and here we are worried about secondhand smoke when we stand beside a smoker on the street! Eco-friendly candles made with beeswax or a vegetable base like soy are a much safer choice -- so I was happier than ever to receive the soy candle from Makana, because now I can enjoy my candlelight and still be good to the earth.
Makana Candle Studios makes 100% Soy Wax Artisanal Candles in a variety of scents. Here is how they describe their products:
Makana Candle Studios only handcrafts candles made from 100% GMO-free soy wax made from soybeans grown in the USA. Our soy wax is certified kosher, FDA-approved and is completely vegan. So when selecting soy candles, be sure they are green and look for ingredients such as "100% soy wax", "all-natural vegetable wax" or "pure soy wax." Makana Candles are handcrafted in Orange County, CA using simple, green ingredients – 100% soy wax, all-natural cotton wicks and phthalate-free fragrances blended with pure essential oils. Each candle is hand-packaged in a container that is recyclable, biodegradable and compostable.
I received a candle from Makana's Hope collection, and the first thing that struck me when I received it was how beautiful and elegant the packaging is. Opening the box was a feast for the eyes and nose. I also really appreciate how consistent the packaging is with Makana's philosophy: everything from the box to the tissue is eco-friendly. Even their packing peanuts are made from corn starch and are biodegradable! The candle burns with a steady flame (especially when you follow their suggestion to burn the candle all the way until the edge the first time you burn it, about 3-4 hours for the 10-oz. candle) and although the scent seemed too strong at first, it settled down and burned with a nice, pleasant vanilla fragrance.
I wanted to remove the "Hope" sticker on the glass but the sticker didn't peel away cleanly; it's the kind that leaves a sticky, papery residue that's impossible to remove, which mars the nice, clean look of the glass. Also, I found the vanilla scent just a bit overpowering when I opened the box, which is the opposite to what I read on the testimonials on the Makana website. The scent does dissipate, however, and fortunately the scent isn't as strong when the candle burns.
The Bottom Line
Makana soy candles make a great eco-friendly present -- but don't forget to treat yourself as well! Whether you buy one for yourself or a friend, you can rest easy with the knowledge that you're giving the earth a little present as well.
Disclosure: I received a product sample, but was not paid to review the product or give my opinions. Unless clearly stated, the views and opinions expressed here are my own.