In the Philippines, merchants highlighting numerous candles in the supermarkets, may it be plain or scented ones, mark the commemoration of All Souls Day.
It’s a common tradition to light candles near the tomb of our loved ones. As associated with our religious faith, it serves as an offering for their soul to escape purgatory and enter heaven.
However, due to the threat of COVID-19, not everyone can visit cemeteries. Recently, the pandemic task force ordered the closure of cemeteries from October 29 to November 2. As expected, people will stay at home and a row of candle lights will kindle in every neighborhood.
Lighting candles in an eco perspective
While we are all aware that lighting candles are part of our customs, there are a few things to think about – one of which is the environmental impact it can contribute.
Is lighting candles bad for our environment? Apparently, it depends on the wax. In the market, we can see a variety of candles made from paraffin, beeswax, soy wax, coconut wax, and other vegetable waxes. Among these, paraffin is the most common, and it has some off qualities.
Aside from being unsustainable, studies affirmed that paraffin influences air pollutant emissions. Moreover, it emits carcinogenic materials into the air, which can be harmful to our health.
As an alternative, natural waxes such as soy, rapeseed, coconut, and beeswax are much recommendable to use. However, candles with these varieties are expensive compared to paraffin-made products.
But if you ponder purchasing these eco-friendly candles, perhaps you can consider the idea of recycling. If you’re about to scratch off and throw away the candle wax leftovers, pause for a while and check these tips first:
Transform it into a new one
As soon as it melts and cools, you can reuse the leftover wax and create a new one. Just prepare the following: a saucepan, stove, candle holder, and a wick.
You just need to put the leftover wax into a saucepan. Through a stove or any heat source, melt the wax until it turns into liquid.
Then, you pour the melted wax into a holder, which could be any container found in the household. Just consider the quality, if it is flammable or not. You can use a teacup, mason jar, or an old canning jar.
Finally, just put the new wick and wait until it hardens. Voila! You already transformed your old candle into a new one.
Instead of re-buying a new, expensive candle, you just need to buy a new wick. But remember, you shouldn’t buy a lead-cored wick. It’s not recommendable for it contains lead poisoning hazards, especially for children.
Create a Bug Repellant Candle
If you’re annoyed with the bugs buzzing on your bed, maybe it’s time to consider a bug repellant candle. Now that you know how to recycle a new candle as mentioned in the procedures above, it would be easy for you to follow these basic steps:
Primarily, you will melt the leftover candle wax through a heat source. As soon as it turns into liquid, add a small amount of citronella. Then, mix the wax and citronella together.
Pour the mixture into a holder. Lastly, add a new wick. Just let it freeze and you can already use it. Now, you can sleep comfortably as your DIY repellant candle keeps the bugs away!
Fix fraying shoelaces
Whenever we have a frayed shoelace, we immediately thought that it is not repairable. But, guess what, candle wax could be a key if you really want to keep it. Just follow these simple procedures:
Melt your used candle wax until it turns into liquid. Then, pour it into the frayed area of the shoelace.
Wait until it hardens. The solidified wax will hold the shoelace together and prevent it from coming apart. For sure, you’ll carry your shoes like its good as new.
Indeed, being resourceful is fun! Even though the candles made out of natural waxes are a bit more expensive than traditional ones, we can maximize their leftovers.
With these recycling practices, we can save money and at the same time, help our environment by reducing pollutant emissions.
On All Souls Day, how will you recycle your candle wax leftovers?
John Alfred Esmilla is an aspiring online journalist and educator. In his free time, he plays Mobile Legends and watches reality shows. A pitcher of coffee fuels him. He believes that height is just a number, so don't dare to ask it. His love language: acts of service.