Lighting candles, especially in the dark winter months, can soothe and relax you as well as add a cozy ambiance to any room.
But there are problems with candles and, more specifically, tealights. There are typically two issues out of a sustainable point of view:
- First, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you might be disturbed to find that stearin usually is a by-product of slaughter. It is cheap to produce stearin from animal fats and that is typically how it’s done. You can find vegetable-based stearin but it is much rarer and way more expensive.
Paraffin is also not the best choice. It is vegan, sure, but is derived from petroleum and is said to have negative effects for both the environment and your health.
- A second problem is all the waste generated. You can recycle the typical aluminum cups but they may not actually be recycled at the end stage.
But of course there is a solution to both of these problems and it is a surprisingly easy one: zero-waste tealights.
I found these little tealights (ljusbringare in Swedish) on the Swedish site Jordklok and they have been an amazing addition to my home.
***I’ve tried to find them elsewhere but haven’t been able to find some when doing a google search. This is a shame because I feel like more people should have access to these.***
I have always loved lighting candles but felt bad about the two issues I mentioned above. But now, I don’t have to anymore. Now there is one less thing to feel bad about (yay…).
The little “stones” are made from clay and the wicker from organic cotton. They burn using regular cooking oil like olive or canola and burn for a couple of hours (more or less, depending on how much oil you use).
You just place them in a candle holder and fill it up with oil until it covers the stone and then light it. The wicker is long and lies curled up underneath the stone and when you need a new wicker, you just pull it out and there you go.
The stones last for several years and the wickers are easy to replace when they’re empty. You just need string which is meant to be used for this purpose. If you’re not into making your own candles using some kind of wax, this is perfect because you don’t have to mess around with all that.
In short, these tealights are fantastic but there are some things that might be good to know before purchasing them.
- Smaller than regular tealights: This doesn’t have to be a problem but is still good to know. I was a bit surprised when I saw how small they were because I had expected them to be approximately the same size as tea lights but they aren’t.
- Smells a little bit of cooking when extinguished: When I say a little bit, I really mean a little bit. And it’s only for a minute or something. I suppose it also depends on what kind of oil you use so try it out for yourself and see what works. I found that canola oil doesn’t give the same smell as olive oil for example.
- Not recommended for aromatherapy: The manufacturer does not recommend dropping essential oils into the regular oil since most essential oils shouldn’t be in contact with fire. VERY IMPORTANT!
I would recommend everyone I know to get these. They are definitely a new favorite of mine and I will cherish them for a really long time. One step closer to a more sustainable city-life!