Earth Day is April 22nd when everyone offers a list of things you can do to help the environment. This year, we want to share what we’re doing. Our hope is that you’ll be inspired to nudge where you work, shop and play in the same direction!
Invest in our planet
For 2023, the Earth Day theme is invest in our planet, and Prosperity Candle is taking this call to action more earnestly than ever. As we prepare to move to a beautiful new studio, we're scrutinizing everything to see where we can reduce energy consumption. Our goal is to be not only the most ethical candle-maker, but also the most sustainable.
To date we’ve focused on our ingredients and packaging, making sure they are clean, renewable and recyclable. And on our candle-makers who are building brighter futures here in the U.S. after living for years as refugees. Providing living wages and supporting refugee families around the world is our mission.
Now we’re doubling down on energy conservation.
Sustainably made candles
What does sustainably made candles - or anything - actually mean? And what can a small social enterprise B Corp certified for social and environmental sustainability do to be more earth friendly?
Sustainably made means having a neutral or positive impact on the planet without depleting natural resources. It refers to renewable materials or recycled content, the way something is designed and produced, and the source of energy used. Most often it relates to one aspect of a product, but ideally sustainably made means all of the above. It’s not just swapping one ingredient for another, but instead looking at every aspect to see where improvements can be made.
For Prosperity Candle, that's energy conservation. For the past month we’ve been working on ways to reduce electricity use that don’t require a huge financial investment – just our time and interest. And it promises to have a significant impact on carbon emissions and our electricity bill.
Making renewable more sustainable
Our candles are made with natural, renewable waxes from coconuts and soybeans because these are cleaner, healthier and more environmentally friendly. We melt these waxes in equipment that maintains a constant temperature, but uses more energy than necessary. So we reached out to a college professor to delve into the chemistry of wax, and to our friend Mark who is an energy geek (and awesome mountain biker).
Over the past 4 weeks we’ve been testing ideas and measuring the impact. If you’re interested in the details, we’re happy to share all kinds of data - simply comment below or give us a call. One of our goals is to encourage others to explore affordable ways to become more sustainable, so we welcome all inquiries.
The results blew us away. By investing our time and less than $800, Prosperity Candle will reduce its carbon emissions by 64% and save $2,400 annually in electricity costs. And by installing smart switches in the new studio to turn on equipment at 3am, we can reach a whopping 71% reduction in electricity and emissions. That is amazing!
More earth-friendly ideas
We could stop there, but now we’re excited to explore other ways to reduce energy consumption.
Working with the building owner, we’re constructing a separate wax melting room to exhaust hot air in the summer and distribute it throughout the studio in the winter to use less heating and air conditioning. We're opting to relocate from an overly warm, south-facing space with a mountain view to a northern one while retaining tall windows for natural light. We'll miss the view, but the energy savings are significant. And we’re advocating for community solar so that more of the energy used to make our candles comes from renewable sources.
But that’s just the beginning. By Earth Day 2024 we plan to have implemented a total of 29 energy saving upgrades in our quest to become the most sustainable maker of handmade candles anywhere.
Back to youThere is one item we want to bring back from last year’s Earth Day list: be mindful of the businesses you support. It matters where you shop, and expressing your values helps move the economy faster in the right direction. It encourages businesses of all sizes to take action.
In a recent survey, 45% of Gen Z consumers said they have stopped buying from brands with poor ethical and sustainability practices. Instead, they are supporting businesses like Prosperity Candle that are B Corp certified and actively choose eco-friendly materials practices that help reduce climate change. That is inspiring.
No matter what generation you are, we can all agree we want our planet to remain habitable. That means we need to use our individual purchasing power to make change happen. Don’t like that your favorite product or store has a poor environmental record? Purchase elsewhere and let them know you’ll come back when they do the right thing.
Greater sustainability is entirely within reach for the places we all work, shop and play – so go ahead... share your voice, wield your power, and be an influencer for good!