The right light at Christmas

Pick your wick

Published On: 06-Dec-2016

The Nordic Swan reminds us that not all candles are created equal. Before you pick your wick for traditional Christmas candles, check that your choice is made sustainably, says the Swan.

Swan-labelled candles have tough requirements in terms of environment, health, quality and safety. The lights must be made of candle wax, a renewable resource that does not contribute to the greenhouse effect.

The candles are tested carefully, certificates and documentation requested and verification visits carried out in production. After approved controls the company gets a license that gives them the right to use the Swan label on their product.

In Sweden almost 20 000 tonnes of candles are used annually. The majority are manufactured from raw materials of palm oil or wax. Palm oil is a commodity which may be renewable, but the production of which contributes to rainforest depletion. Paraffin is a residue from the petroleum industry that contributes to the greenhouse effect when it burns, says The Swan.

Many consumers are rejecting palm oil and paraffin  because they wish to safeguard the climate and the environment. Interest in Swan-labeled candles has increased among both consumers and producers, says Ragnar Unge, CEO of Eco-labeling Sweden "We see great potential to move towards sustainable production."

For a list of Swan-labelled candles click here.