Bringing Light; Do candles need to be ethical?

Continuing the theme of bringing light as we march towards Chanukah, or perhaps through advent, the issues of candles presents itself as a burning one (sorry!)

Candles are often made of paraffin and oil bi-products; that is, fossil fuels. These are limited resources which we already use too much of.

Many candles which describe themselves as 'ethical' would of course want to be fairtrade, but also tend to be made of Soya bean rather than oil based products. Now Soya is not always the ethical choice we would like it to be. However as the previous link points out, it's biggest consumer is the meat industry. There are ways to ensure it is less likely to come from vast monocultures treated with chemicals. Organic soya is a good way to avoid this pit-fall. And as the link above writes "You're looking for GM-free that is not extracted from rainforest regions and grown as part of a crop-rotation system" 

This Welsh producer of soy candles seems to offer good assurances on the type of soya they use, and where it is sourced from (and it's kosher noch!)

As a naturally occurring product, and an important industry to support, I'm also a huge fan of Beeswax candles, which have been around since the middle ages, and are incredibly easy and fun to make yourself (more of that in another post though!)

G and I, however, will be, as always, doing without drippy candles this chanukah, and bringing out our glass oil holders which year after year slot into our chanukiah, and are filled with lovely organic natural olive oil, which give off a fabulous gentle glow. One plea. These disposable oil lamps are now widely available in kosher shops. They create a HUGE amount of waste and are poor value for money when glasses like this will last year to year - the trick is just finding the right size for your chanukiah!


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