The holiday season practically begs for the glow of a little candlelight, especially when everything gets dark early. But even though colorful (and cheap!) seasonal candles beckon from the checkout line at this time of year, it’s best to skip them: They’re typically made from paraffin, a petroleum by-product, and emit potentially harmful chemicals and soot. (Here's more on how to prevent the air in your home from being twice as polluted as the air outside.)
Instead, whether you're gifting a candle or buying one for your home, be a savvy shopper. Look for cotton-wicked vegetable (often soy-based) or beeswax candles; the latter may even neutralize airborne allergens and may help purify the air. Be sure to also ditch any vintage candles left over from holidays past: many contain lead wicks. Banned in the U.S. in 2003, when lit, they can lead to high concentrations of airborne lead. (Here are 3 ways scented candles are messing with your health.)
To help you find candles for gifting or decorating that won't emit harmful pollutants, we've rounded up our favorite natural candles from around the web.
(Brag your love of gardening with the Organic Life 2018 Wall Calendar, featuring gorgeous photographs, cooking tips and recipes, plus how to eat more—and waste less—of what's in season.)