Lighting the Way to Sustainability: Making Eco-Friendly Candles

Lighting the Way to Sustainability: Making Eco-Friendly Candles

Imagine combining the artistry of candle making with the heart of sustainability. It's about more than a cozy ambiance… it's helping create a brighter future for us all. That has been the idea behind Prosperity Candle from the very beginning, and now we’re kicking it up a notch.

Welcome to the world of eco-friendly candles where sustainability meets creativity while helping people along the way.

Handmade Eco Friendly Sustainable Candles

Making Candles More Sustainably

Candles have always been a symbol of light, warmth and community, one of the many reasons we were drawn to making them in the first place. Join us for dinner and you’ll find the lights dimmed with more than a dozen candles lit where friends can relax and enjoy each other’s company (mostly unscented candles so the meal’s flavors take center stage).

We’ve been committed to eco-friendly practices from the beginning, like using unique vessels that can be repurposed when your candle is done. And since 2014 Prosperity Candle has been B Corp certified for social and environmental sustainability, named a "best for the world" small business 2 years in a row. One area that has vexed us, though, is improving energy efficiency. Despite late night dashes to avoid running wax melters 24/7, our studio in a century-old mill building had its limitations.

So when it came time to move into a bigger space last year, we took the opportunity design the new studio ourselves with sustainability as our top priority. We chose to focus on energy efficiency and set a crazy goal to use no more electricity than the average U.S. household, even though the studio is the size of 6 homes. And guess what? It worked!

Prosperity Sustainable Candle Melters

Waxing Poetic

The journey to sustainable candle making starts with selecting the right wax. Say goodbye to traditional paraffin (a petroleum byproduct) and hello to natural waxes like soy, beeswax and our favorite – coconut wax. These renewable resources burn cleaner and longer, making them the best choice for eco-friendly candles.

But melting wax can consume a lot of energy. So we began experimenting with programmable switches, various types of insulation, staggered pouring schedules, and nerdy stuff like the phase change temperature of wax. We conducted endless tests, sought advice from colleagues, and even roped in a university chemistry professor. Now a year later the results are in. Our wax melters are using 64% less electricity, every single day.

OK... not exactly waxing poetic, but pretty cool, right? We monitor the electricity use of our equipment down to the second, then use the data to make continuous  improvements.

Prosperity Candle Sustainable Energy Monitor

Heating Up & Cooling Down

Of all the steps we’ve taken toward greater sustainability, the biggest investment is in how our studio is heated in winter and cooled in summer. The old space was often too hot or too cold, and we had no control over any of it. Plus that building (which houses many wonderful artisans, nonprofits and small businesses) uses gas-fired boilers and inefficient air conditioning.

Our new space also had gas-fired heating, but we removed it and hired an engineer to design the most efficient system possible using the latest heat pump technology. Then we worked on downsizing his design by exhausting heat from melted wax during the summer, and using it to warm the studio in the winter. Super simple, super effective.

To this we added ceiling fans, more efficient lighting, energy recovery ventilation … and voila! Our new studio uses 71% less energy per square foot. That means every candle we pour has less than a third the carbon footprint it did a year ago.

Prosperity Candle Sustainable HVAC System

Offsetting The Rest

In our quest to be the most sustainable producer of handmade candles, we would love to take the final step of running our studio on solar power. Unfortunately, it’s not possible - yet. But that hasn’t stopped us from looking at ways to support greening the grid.

Through carbon offsets, we are further helping combat global warming by investing in solar and wind farms, reforestation projects, and the reduction of carbon allowances that the dirtiest power plants need to operate. It’s our way of keeping our commitment to offering eco-friendly candles and gifts to our customers, retail partners and corporate gifting clients.

If you have suggestions, creative ideas or would like to see how we measure environmental impact, write a note in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!

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