THE IMPORTANCE OF CHOOSING NATURAL CANDLES

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Choosing the right type of candle is yet another way to help clean up in your home, your health and the environment. Candles can be a huge source of indoor pollution and thus another totally unnecessary toxic product around the average home.

WHAT’S WRONG?:

Most candles are made from paraffin wax (a white or colorless soft solid derivable from petroleum, coal or oil shale). When heated, this wax creates carcinogens (benzene and toluene) similar to those fumes that diesel cars emit. Wicks often contain lead (America is the only country with regulations against the use of lead), and the dyes used to colour the candles can also be chemically derived, adding to the cocktail of fumes entering your home (and body).

These toxins, heavy metals and chemicals are incredibly harmful to our health and our environment. They produce toxic petrol-carbon soot, which can blacken walls, furniture and ceilings, so you can only imagine what they might do to your health – breathing issues, allergies, hormone disruption, behavioural problems, learning difficulties and numerous other health problems.

So if you don’t fancy inhaling all of this inside your home when you light your lovely scented candles, then follow these tips below:

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST CANDLES: 

  • Candles should be made with 100% natural ingredients (ingredients you can pronounce and recognise). Ideally their ingredients are sourced from sustainable and renewable annual crops from long-established farms. This way you know you are supporting not only the health of the planet, but also those hard working humans who are doing their best to keep things green.
  • Candles should be made from soy (GM free) or bees wax (ethically sourced) – these also have a much longer burning time than petroleum candles
  • Candles should be scented with natural essential oils – these are health enhancing and a beautiful way to cleanse and bring a lovely feel to your home. Choose lavender for calming, citrus for uplifting, rose for comfort.
  • Candles should state they are petroleum and chemical free. Wicks should be made from natural products such as cotton, paper or hemp.
  • Natural candles are more expensive but for obvious but very good reasons – natural ingredients are more expensive to source, require more attention and time due to their temperamental nature and are often produced by people paying fair wages and against testing on animals.

The Soy Candle Company is my favourite brand, they tick all the boxes and more! Their candles have divine mood enhancing scents, burn cleanly and last much longer than regular candles (you can even use the leftover scented wax as a moisturiser!). They are beautifully packaged and presented too so look gorgeous in your home or make a perfect gift!

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CLEAN OUT THE TOXINS!

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We all know about the hazards of making poor eating choices yet how many of us think about what’s in the products we use to clean the house, ourselves, loved ones and our animals? Remember ANYTHING that makes contact with our skin ends up inside our body and EVERYTHING that goes into our body has to be processed and expelled…so it makes sense that we should only come into contact with natural familiar products that can deal with efficiently and safely.

Man-made chemicals can be found in thousands of products around the home: cleaning and washing detergents, beauty products, toilet paper, plastic food and drink containers and packaging, ingredients added to processed foods as well as pesticides, herbicides and fungicides sprayed on produce and so on. Chemical exposure causes huge amounts of disruption to your body, stress levels, sleep patterns and general health. People can experience anything from low energy levels, eczema and asthma to hormonal imbalances, weight issues and mood disorders. Children are particularly at risk.

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FOOD

  • Buy fresh organic spray free meat, fish (wild), fruit, veg, nuts, seeds wherever possible
  • Buy produce without plastic packaging
  • Avoid produce in aluminium cans/tins – especially tomatoes which quickly corrode the tin lining thus seeping in aluminium
  • Avoid cooking with aluminium pots and pans
  • Rinse and pat dry all fruit and veg before eating
  • Use a good quality veg and fruit wash or make your own (juice of 1 lemon, 2 TBSP white vinegar, 1 C water – keep in a spray bottle)

Following the above tips will help you avoid disrupting your endocrine system – the system that influences almost every cell, organ and function in our bodies. It is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, metabolism. Particularly harmful are the  ‘obesogens’ which mimic the fat making hormone eostrogen  – so the more we have of this the fatter we will become (not to mention the hormonal disturbances too).

WATER

Depending on where you are in the world, you may be lucky enough to be able to drink fresh clean water straight form the tap! If you’re not so fortunate try the below tips

  • A whole house water filter. An NSF certified water filter will remove harsh chlorine byproducts so drinking and bathing water will be toxin free.
  • Find natural water sources near to you. Try this great website: http://www.findaspring.com/locate/
  • Following that, you want to buy good quality well sourced mineral water bottled in glass
  • Drink from a steel drink bottle – avoid bottles made from plastic, aluminium and polycarbonate

HOUSEHOLD CLEANING

Household cleaners and detergents are a major source of chemical exposure for many people. If you or those around you are suffering from reoccurring health issues related to skin, breathing, digestion, energy and mood, you absolutely MUST look into the cleaning products used around your house. Mainstream cleaners and some ‘Green’ cleaners are packed full of toxic substances that will disrupt  all sorts of natural processes in your body. Children suffer even greater – so please look into this if you have kiddies about the house.

TOP 10 INGREDIENTS YOU MUST AVOID

Phosphates – kill marine life once they exit our water system

Ammonia – irritates the nose and throat and irritates the skin. Can disrupt liver and kidney function

Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) – cause respiratory problems such as asthma and wheezing

Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE’s) – cause reproductive defects, liver and kidney damage

Phthalates – cause sperm damage and reproductive defects in boys

Ethanolamines – cause dermatitis

TOP 10 NATURAL CLEANERS

Baking soda

Lemon juice

White vinegar

Vodka

Liquid castille soap (Dr Bronner’s)

Hydrogen peroxide

Egg shells – check this out!

Borax

Microfiber cloths

Organic essential oils

This short video has some great tips for how to clean your floors, windows, surfaces, mould, silver, red wine stains, unblock your drain, clean your laundry whites to name a few!