How to use candles and incense sticks sustainably

When temperatures rise, anyone in a crowd can smell an unfortunate fact of life: people smell. When Sweat from apocrine glands When mixed with bacteria on your skin, it can create unpleasant odors.

Memories of this tragic truth can come from a teeming subway car, a busy barbecue, or even our own stuffy homes, especially when totalr sneaks up. That means it might be time to spread our favorite smells to cover up the sweaty stink of summer.

Pew Research found that out Most Americans are now taking steps to improve their daily sustainability, from reducing food waste to using fewer single-use plastics. But what should people do with miniature candles, incense, and essential oils to keep your home smelling fresh as a daisy? With consumers hoping to extend that sustainability to every aspect of their lives, there are several ways to combat the smells of summer in your home.

candles

According to the National Candle Association, the candle industry uses over 1 billion pounds of wax each year in the manufacture of American candles. soy, beeswax etc even coconut wax are found in candles, but one of the most common choices is paraffin wax. Many “clean candle” companies and health-conscious consumers have identified this petroleum by-product as a health hazard. Alleged risks include inhaling “toxic” chemicals released by the wax and a buildup of particulate matter in the air.

Ultimately, the science behind the safety of paraffin is not fully established, but the wax’s sustainability is questionable. Paraffin wax is a petroleum by-product that is manufactured and refined along with lubricating oil. Several commercial uses for paraffin can range from food packaging to pharmaceuticals. However, about 40-50 percent of the world market turnover because paraffin comes from candles.

Researcher Giuseppe Suaria from the Italian Institute of Marine Sciences studied the presence of petroleum waxes in the ocean in 2017 after a mass stranding that left nearly 30 tons of yellow paraffin on northern French beaches. While the term usually applies to stranding of a living or dead marine mammalSuaria’s study examined the stranding of massive wax splatters. Similar spills hurt Fish and bird populations.

[Related: Is your wine really sustainable? Here’s how to tell.]

Paraffin wax is not normally dumped directly into the sea by candle makers. Shipping containers wash their tanks at sea and flush wax into the ocean, which is regulated, but still occurs. In 1992, a transport ship washed out of wax was released on the high seas almost eight tons of wax. The following year, a report estimated that 10,000 to 20,000 seabirds were stranded in the North Sea after being contaminated by refined liquid paraffin. Paraffin spills have continued across Europe, although Suaria notes that two of the main producers of paraffin (the US and China) have not reported wax strandings, possibly due to a lack of incident reporting.

“I would say that the majority, if not all, of the reports I’ve found are from Europe and not Asia, South America, or North America,” Suaria says. “They will probably perform but not be published or attract too much public attention.”

Suaria hopes that more research will be conducted into the potential toxicity of paraffin wax to marine life. But currently it is only known as another anthropogenic petroleum waste product in our oceans in the name of candles besides that It is estimated that 14 million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year.

“The public is still not really informed about these events. I don’t think many people do [have] have heard of paraffin stranding events or similar problems,” says Suaria. “At least here in Italy, I don’t think the general public sees the candles as dangerous or problematic.”

There are several factors to consider when buying candles potentially harmful fragrances to Reusing the candle jar to considering the packaging of the candle. A simple way to make your candles more sustainable is to avoid petroleum-based products that may end up in the ocean.

frankincense and essential oils

Fumigation is a practice with historical links to multiple cultures and religions, from the imperial cult in Rome to the religious rituals of ancient Egypt. Frankincense comes in many forms, including Cone, coil and rod. Many incense sticks are scented wooden sticks dipped in oil.

[Related: Bamboo fabric is less sustainable than you think.]

While many modern religions continue to use incense in rituals and practices, many consumers have turned into incense to freshen their houses. However, this increasing popularity is putting pressure on harvesters and traditional incense suppliers.

Long prized for its use in incense and essential oils, the sap of frankincense trees is still harvested in the wild. However, over-harvesting of the trees put enormous pressure on the trees, affecting many in the industry. Sandalwood trees face the same threats. The trees expensive wood commonly used in aromatherapy and religious ceremonies, as well as in the illicit sandalwood industry had a deadly effect about international communities. Industrial pressures and illegal harvesting are negatively affecting the native ecosystems where frankincense and sandalwood thrive.

When purchasing incense sticks and essential oils, consumers may want to research the origin of the ingredients. Not every essential oil uses endangered wildlife — eucalyptus oil, for example, can be a sustainable and great-smelling option. Of course, using highly concentrated oils sparingly can also help to reduce bottle consumption.

Eco-conscious consumers may struggle to reconcile sustainability with fragrance. But at the end of the day, petroleum-based wax, unsustainably harvested wood, and excessive packaging are the big things to avoid.

About Thelma Wilt

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