Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Candle in the wind

source of the photo: http://www.heathmonthoney.com.au

Having experienced frequent power cuts in my hometown, I felt quiet relieved after I migrated to Australia. No power cuts except on very rare occasions. Hurrah!  But my heart does miss those times! Power cut in the night provided a good excuse to do nothing. I still remember how I and my bro used to abandon our school homework and sit together as a family around the candle light and listen to our father telling stories and anecdotes. When it is dinner time, we all in unison will decide to go to the terrace, sit beside the subtle glow of the candle light and eat our hearty comforting meal of rice and veggie made by our dear mother. If the power cut gets extended, our time in the terrace gets extended. We end up sleeping in the terrace listening to the lullaby of twinkling stars and the gentle breeze blowing the candle. Pure bliss!

I wanted to bring back those sweet memories to the present times as well. So I came up with the idea of "No lights from electrical source on some Saturday nights except for the light from the candles". On Saturday nights my husband and I enjoy spending quality family time at home with our daughter. We listen to music, dance to its tunes, play some board games and finish off with a detox candle light dinner. It is relaxing and fun with just the lights from the candles in our lounge, family room and the dining room. There is something so serene about the warm glow of the flame. They warm up the room, and smell great.  

I have become a conscious buyer in recent times. When buying things for home, I make sure that I leave a green foot prints on this earth. In this context, I want to share my opinion on the candles that I use.

What type of candles are my favorite?

On our holiday to Tasmania in 2011, we were in a beautiful small country town called Chudleigh. Chudleigh is famous for ‘The honey farm shop’. The shop stocks a wide array of Beeswax, honey and propolis products. I went to the section of the shop selling 100% beeswax products and the first thing that captured my attention was the beeswax candles in different forms and sizes. I took one out of the display shelf to capture its aroma and instantly I was transported to the land of honey, nectar, flowers and bees. I got a pack of beeswax tea lights and a small pillar candle. After we got back from our holiday, I straightaway wanted to light the beeswax candle. I lit the candle and waited for the suspense to break. Just as how I thought, this beeswax beauty released its natural aroma of honey and nectar of the flowers found in the honeycomb.

                                           Rows of Beeswax candles 

source of the photo: http://www.heathmonthoney.com.au/images/products/Candles/row-of-beeswax-candles.jpg)

Why Beeswax candles are good?

Apart from the aromatic reasons, beeswax candles have other benefits too:

-      It is economical and has a longer burning time.

-      Pure beeswax candles are made from renewable source – only beeswax.

-      Beeswax candles burn cleaner than paraffin candles, producing very little soot.

-     It is smokeless and drips less.

-     Pure beeswax candles contain none of the harmful chemicals found in the paraffin candles.

-     They have a natural honey scent which smells great and there is no need for artificial      fragrance to be added to make it smell nicer. They are great for people who are sensitive to perfumes and fragrances.

-      No toxic wastes are produced in production and burning.

-     The soft warm glow and the beautiful halo which appears around the flame accompanied with the subtle aroma of honey helps to reduce your stress. It has got a calming effect on the mind.

-     For years alternative health practitioners, entomologists and most notably beeswax candle  makers have celebrated the fact that beeswax is the only candle fuel that emits negative ions which in turn cleanse the air. So while beeswax is not the only fuel to emit negative ions it is definitely superior to paraffin and does not contain carcinogenic compounds that paraffin does.  (http://www.smallbones.ca/blog/finally-evidence-that-beeswax-emits-the-most-negative-ions)

A perfect example of this phenomenon is rainstorms. A rainstorm is a negative ionic event, which is why we say the air smells so fresh after a rainstorm.

What are the other natural alternatives?

Soy wax candles: Soy wax is an all vegetable-based wax which contains roughly 85% soy-based material. Soy wax is non-toxic and burns very cleanly with almost no soot residue. It has a low melting point and thus the burn pool in a soy wax candle is created quickly and reaches its maximum diameter quickly. Generally speaking, soy wax has a longer burn time than paraffin but shorter than beeswax. It is ideal for container candles. Not all soy candles are created equally. Make sure your soy candle is made from 100% soy bean wax.

What types of candles to avoid?

-     Stay away from Paraffin candles. It is derived from petroleum by-products and emits harmful vapor and black soot. It must be blended with chemicals to release its fragrance.
Lighting many paraffin candles every day for years or lighting them frequently in an un-ventilated bathroom around a tub, for example, may cause problems related to cancer and asthma. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8211543.stm)

-     Avoid artificially fragranced candles: Choose natural beeswax or 100% soy wax candles blended with pure essential oils.

Burn a candle today and enjoy the full ambiance of light and fragrance all from a natural renewable source. As I finish writing this post, I can hear a beautiful song playing on the back of my mind – “candle in the wind” by Elton John. Pure bliss!

Bye for now. With love from PetalDew – Nature’s nurture.

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