Most candles these days are made from GMO soy and/or palm wax, which are both responsible for mass deforestation and species extinction. Palm cultivation is the main driver of desforestion in South East Asia ( read about it here). GMO soy agriculture is one of the main drivers of deforestation in the amazon rainforest, as it is a cheap food source for beef and an ingredient in many products. If you want to use soy wax, it's important to make sure it's GMO-free and to find out where it was grown. Another wax used to make candles is paraffin, which is a petroleum, coal, or oil shale derived product.
Most scented candles are also filled with synthetic dyes, fragnranes, and chemicals, like benzene and toluene, which are toxic to breathe and can cause numerous adverse health problems. Using essential oils is a safe alternative, and also beneficial, as we can combine different ones to promote relaxation, mental clarity, strength, and calm.
It's very possible to find candles made from 100% beeswax; however, they are pretty expensive. These simple pour candles call for equal parts beeswax and coconut oil, and a dash of essential oil. I use small mason jars as candle holders, and find that these candles burn for about 10 hours.
I used to be another candle
Once your candle has burned to capacity, there will be some excess wax leftover at the bottom of the jar. I scrape this out and save it for the next time I'm making candles.
Simple Pour Candles
Ingredients: Makes 3 shallow candles
small glass jars
wicks ( I use organic hemp)
metal wick tabs
clothes pin (optional)
4 oz. coconut oil
4 oz. beeswax
2 teaspoons essential oil(s) of choice*
*I like Cocoa & Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Sweet Orange & Peppermint, Bergamot & Lime, or Eucalyptus & Lemon
The Steps: 1. Melt the coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler until they are completely translucent. 2. While the ingredients are melting, prepare the jars with the wicks. I string the wicks through the metal wick tab, dip the tab in the melting wax, and secure the tabs in the bottom middle of the jars. 3. Thread the wicks through the spring in the clothes pins to keep them centered in the jar. It's also possible wrap the wick around a chopstick to keep it centered. 4. Remove the wax from the heat and add the essential oils of your choice and stir. 5. Fill the jars half way full, leaving enough of the wick exposed to be able to light. 6. Let the candles harden, then trim the wicks to 1/4 or 1/8 inch height. 7. Light and enjoy!
Hot Tip: I think it's smart to have a candle in house just in case the power goes out. Some of us have smart phones with flashlights, but they require electricity to charge. As someone who lived without electricity for a year, and did everything by the light of candles and lanterns, being prepared to create light when you need it is essential.