Are Grateful Daily Candles Scented with Essential Oils?
When I was first learning how to create candles, I searched for the best quality ingredients that were healthy, non-toxic, and sustainably sourced.
I experimented with different varieties of wax (soy, coconut, beeswax, blends), wicks (cotton, beeswax-covered cotton), vessels (various glass, tins, cut champagne bottles), and fragrances (essential oils, fragrance oils, blends).
Scenting proved to be one area where I thought I knew best, but was wrong.
Image by Kelly Sikkema
Essential oils derived from plant extracts promote health and well-being. They are most effective when used directly on the skin (via massage or bath) or through your nose (via a diffuser or humidifier). They can enhance mood, relieve pain, fatigue, inflammation, they can even kill germs. In these instances, using a couple of drops of essential oils is sufficient.
Using essential oils to scent a medium sized lavender candle requires about 1 ounce of lavender oil or about 590 drops.
Image by Vero Photoart
That’s a lot of oil and more importantly, a LOT of lavender plants. Essential oils are made by harvesting and distilling large amounts of plant matter. To make 1 ounce of lavender essential oil, you need about 14 pounds of lavender.
The popularity of essential oils has turned production into big business, and that’s not necessarily so great for our planet... Production of these source crops takes place all over the world and is often organized by large multinational corporations with little regard for local economies or ecosystems.
Image by Shaun Coward
Mindy Green has been studying, teaching, and working as a clinical aromatherapist for over 40 years at universities and companies like Aveda. She’s concerned that our overuse of essential oils is destroying the planet and harming locals communities.
"Growing the substantial quantities of plant material needed to produce essential oils results in a monoculture style of farming, with large swaths of land dedicated to a single species. These systems are most efficiently managed by intense mechanization, and irrigation is frequently used for optimal oil production of the plants.
As global citizens, we have not yet learned how to equitably distribute vital resources like food, and water resources are trending towards a crisis of the future. There are deep ethical concerns about devoting croplands to essential oils destined for use in candles, bath oils, perfumes or lavish massage and spa purposes."
Image by Valentina Petrova Associated Press
Green also warns that many essential oils are not produced from sustainable sources. "Some species are at risk, particularly those occupying marginal habitats such as dwindling tropical forests," she said, adding that the poverty-stricken in developing countries will harvest and sell whatever they can, in order to put food on their own tables.
So when it comes to essential oils, we're choosing to enjoy them directly on our bodies or in diffusers, where every drop makes a big impact.
We strive for sustainability and using 14 pounds of one plant to create one scented candle seems wasteful and unnecessary. Instead, we primarily use high-quality fragrance oils from reputable suppliers and perfumers. These oils contain synthetic compounds that mimic plant scents. Our lavender candle is created by using a blend of lavender fragrance oils and is topped with lavender buds. Using this technique we can create an aromatherapy inspired scent that will evoke a sense of calm and add ambiance to your home without contributing to the senseless destruction of our planet.
We’re grateful you care and want you to feel good knowing that Grateful Daily candles are created responsibly, with both love and intention.