Is sunflower and rapeseed candle wax sustainable?
When it comes to candle wax there are a variety of different types on the market. Some of them are very common like Soy wax or Coconut wax, while the others are less known or less commonly used like Sunflower, Rapeseed or Beeswax.
To be able to talk about sustainability of candle wax, we need to know from what ingredients the wax is made from and if these ingredients are sustainably sourced.
For wax to be sustainable it needs to be produced in a way that its production can be maintained for a longer period of time without having a negative effect on the environment.
Let’s use as an example comparison of well known Soy and Coconut wax to Rapeseed and Sunflower wax.
Is soy candle wax sustainable?
Soy wax is made from vegetable soybeans. Soybeans are mostly cultivated in US and Brazil. Soy production in Brazil is the main cause of Amazon rainforest deforestation, caused directly through forest clearing for new soy farms or by displacing small farmers by giant soy producers.
Therefore, soy candle wax can hardly be sustainable unless you cultivate your own soybeans and create your own soy candle wax production.
Is Coconut candle wax sustainable?
Coconut wax is made from coconut meat and coconut oil. Coconut palms are normally cultivated in hot and wet tropical climates. The extent of cultivation in the tropics is threatening a number of habitats, such as mangroves. Coconut farming is not considered as a cause of the world’s deforestation problem, however big coconut plantations do have a negative effect on local biodiversity.
Coconut palms are for this reason considered as moderately sustainable but to be able to honestly say that your coconut wax or candle is sustainable it should be sourced from small farm. And this option is hardly offered by coconut wax producers.
Is Sunflower candle wax sustainable?
Sunflower candle wax is made from sunflower oil. Most of the sunflower farming is done in Europe and Russia. Sunflower crop is often labelled as environmentally-friendly because there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used.
Therefore, Non GMO/organic sunflower wax is considered 100% sustainable.
Is Rapeseed candle wax sustainable?
Rapeseed wax comes from the rapeseed plant, which is found all over the UK and Europe. In Rapeseed farming, the same as in sunflower farming there is no known significant damage to the environment. But there is issue caused by humans when it comes to rapeseed farming; to maximise yields and profitability farmers generally use high applications of nitrogen fertiliser, some of which is washed into rivers and ground water by heavy rain and causes water pollution.
To be able to say that your candle is 100% sustainable you need to make sure that it is made from non-GMO organic rapeseed wax.