Without the need for electricity, batteries or any other form of power, candles are often used as an environmentally sound method of bringing warm light and inspiring fragrance to the home. The aromatic scents and flickering flames are relaxing and therapeutic, channelling comfort and creating an indulgent atmosphere that adds to a natural-feeling sense of calm.

When we wish to escape the stress of everyday life, what could be more natural than surrounding our senses with little more than wax, fibre and fire?

environmentally friendly candles

Selecting the Best Candle

But dig deeper into the make-up of some mainstream candles, and you’ll find many are made from paraffin wax. While it’s a good thing to think about light pollution and do our bit by turning the lights off – relying on candlelight to brighten our evenings and create ambience – it’s well worth doing a bit of research into the candles you use and see if there environmentally friendly candles on offer.

It’s extremely tempting to reach for inexpensive candles, give them a quick sniff (some of them smell nice enough at first) and see them as a pocket-friendly alternative to something more costly.  Apart from the fact many poorly made candles using cheap materials have scents that simply don’t last when lit, these poor-quality candles could well have another cost, with many homes unwittingly adding to air pollution when lighting them up.

This need not spell the end of your love affair with beautifully scented candles. You just need to be aware of exactly what you’re buying, and try to choose better quality versions.

So, to help you identify the type of wax candles which are environmentally friendly and therefore your well-being, here we’ve put together a guide to natural candle making, including the candles we should be avoiding, and why.

eco friendly candle store

Use the links below to navigate the guide.

  • What should we avoid?
  • The effects of burning paraffin candles
  • A natural approach to candle making

What Should We Avoid?

Many budget candles found in high street stores are made from a paraffin base. Paraffin being a petroleum by-product of the crude oil industry. Although this material allows candle-makers to produce and retail units for relatively low prices. They are unsurprisingly not good for the environment – emitting their by-products into the atmosphere and adding to air pollution.

environmentally friendly candles

A variety of materials

Aside from the main body of the candle, the materials used for the wick can pose a risk to the environment. Many candles are built with zinc and/or lead. In some countries, lead wicks are illegal due to the dangers to health they pose, such as the U.S Consumer Product Safety committee banning the manufacture and production of lead-cored wicks and candles using them in 2003. But this ruling is not always easy to enforce and candles with lead wicks continue to be manufactured and sold.

And it’s not just the waxes and wicks we should consider when looking for a better candle. The recyclable nature of the packaging should also be scrutinised. Non-recyclable packaging will end up in landfill, causing environmental issues for years to come.

It’s important to remember that aluminium is recyclable, so do separate this material from the rest of the rubbish, especially if you’ve got a penchant for tea-light candles.

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The Effects of Burning Paraffin Candles

Paraffin/petroleum-based candles produce potentially harmful by-products when burning, including greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is one of the primary gasses in Earth’s atmosphere causing the so-called ‘greenhouse effect’. Burning paraffin/petroleum candles only adds to the damage.

Furthermore, choosing paraffin/petroleum-based candles helps support the oil industry. At a time when most sectors are looking to reduce their reliance on oil. Continuing to use paraffin-based candles will contribute to the oil industry’s long-term impact upon the environment.

A Natural Approach to Candle Making

Thirty years ago, Carol Symons opened her first shop, selling handmade, 100% natural wax candles. Her shop, and subsequent brand. Parks London, is committed to providing beautifully scented candles for families and homes who want to enjoy the beautiful fragrances and atmosphere, without contributing to environmental damage.

environmentally friendly candles shop

All of Parks’ candles are made from 100% natural wax without any paraffin, petroleum or palm oil. We create up to 50 different wicks in-house at our Hartlebury factory. All made from natural fibres without a trace of lead. This also allows us to specifically select the wick which best suits each individual candle. Creating the finest fragrance and ambience, whilst controlling exactly which fibres are used, creating a soot-free and longer-lasting burn time overall.


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Thank you for reading our blog on environmentally friendly candles. Whether you are buying candles for yourself or as a gift for loved ones. Parks candle range is made up of 100% natural wax products. So you can enjoy a pure, long-lasting and beautiful fragrance. For the full Parks range, head over to our homepage or call our friendly sales team on 0208 830 6300.