Celebrate green with beeswax candles
I admit it.
I’m obsessed with bees.
I’m an over-the-moon, head-over-heels, shout-from-the-mountain-tops bee cheerleader.
Bees are simply the best. They pollinate crops (thank you!), create sweet/nourishing/healing honey (yum!), and make beeswax, the best-ever resource for candles.
According to Lisa Borden, creator of Orb Candles, “Conventional paraffin candles are by far the dirtiest, as they’re derived from petroleum sludge, so when you burn them, they fill your room with cancer causing chemicals.”
Beeswax is just better. It’s sustainably and, commonly, locally sourced. It burns cleaner, longer and brighter than paraffin. Plus the naturally sweet honey scent (in lieu of toxic artificial fragrances used in most candles ) is truly buzz-worthy.
We asked around the hive for the best beeswax candles – for birthdays to Hanukkah – and here’s our top picks:
Big Dipper Wax Works
Owner Brent Roose, at Big Dipper Wax Works, probably thinks I’m a stalker. When I see him at Seattle local-events I can’t help but to act like a star-crazed fan. In my book, he is indeed a rock star. I have no idea if he can actually sing, but dang, can he make eco-fabulous candles. We’ve featured Brent and Big Dipper on our radio show, on our blog and on TV segments numerous times. I have been known to carry sculpted Big Dipper candles in my (upcycled) purse and give Big Dipper candles for holiday – or anytime – gifts year after year. Big Dipper makes candles for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, even Easter. There’s seriously so many to choose from! But best of all are the Big Dipper birthday candles and numbers. My family won’t sing “Happy Birthday” without them.
Fabulous for: Birthday cakes and birthday rings
Manuka takes already-pretty-darn-fabulous beeswax to a whole new level. It’s cream-of-the-crop, big-man-on-campus, apple-of-a-beeswax-lovers-eye.
Turns out, the maker of Orb Candles is fellow eco-preneur, Lisa Borden, of Borden Communications + Design. My mom and I have known (and loved!) Lisa virtually since we published Celebrate Green!. Her eco-savvy guides for greener holidays are right up our alley. Her blog rocks. But when I found out that Lisa created the first-ever Manuka candles, I have to admit, my admiration for her was through the roof. Orb Candles were made for Shabbat, but are truly lovely tapers for any occasion. (Learn more about Manuka, Lisa and Orb in our 3 question interview, found here.)
Fabulous for: An unplugged dinner for two or with the whole family
From Beekeeper Roy in Washington State. Famous around these parts for knowing his stuff and using it to make the most beautiful, natural and clean candles around. Available in votives, tapers, pillars and more.
Fabulous for: A holiday centerpiece
- Look for beeswax that’s sourced locally, or at the very least in the U.S.
- Make sure the candles are 100% beeswax
- Ensure the candles have no artificial fragerance
Roll your own beeswax candles! A fun, festive activity for birthdays, holidays, or anytime. Also a great, green gift.
Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.