When you’re shopping for a soy candle, it’s hard to know if they are truly eco-friendly. Here are the facts about soy wax so you’ll be an educated consumer!
The debate over whether soy wax is eco friendly continues. Some say that soy wax is a renewable resource and, therefore, it is eco-friendly. Others say that the processing of soy beans into wax has a negative impact on the environment. So, which is it?
What Is Soy Wax?
Soy wax is a type of vegetable wax that is made from the oil of soybeans. Unlike other types of wax, soy wax is non-toxic and does not contain any harmful chemicals. This makes it a great choice for those who are looking for an environmentally friendly option.
Soy wax can be used in various ways, including as candle wax, cosmetics, and food additive. It has a lower melting point than other types of waxes, which makes it ideal for use in candles. Soy candles burn cleaner than petroleum-based candles and produce no soot.
Soy wax is a biodegradable product, which means it can easily be broken down by nature. The recycling of soy wax is possible but not common at this time.
While soy wax is generally considered safe, there are some concerns about its environmental impact. Soybeans are a type of genetically modified crop, and some worry that the use of soy wax could contribute to the spread of these crops.
How is Soy Wax Made?
To make soy wax, the soybeans are first cleaned and dehulled. The soybean oil is then extracted from the beans using either a solvent or a mechanical process. Once the oil has been extracted, it is heated to create a molten wax. This molten wax is then cooled and solidified into the final product.
When choosing soy wax candles, it is important to look for those that are made with 100% pure soybean oil.
The Benefits of Soy Wax
1. Cleaner Burning
One of the primary benefits of soy wax is that it is a cleaner burning fuel than traditional waxes. When burned, soy wax releases far fewer toxins and chemicals into the air than other types of wax. This can be beneficial for both your health and the environment.
Another benefit of soy wax is that it is biodegradable. This means that it will break down naturally over time without causing harm to the environment. Traditional waxes, on the other hand, can take centuries to decompose.
3. Longer Lasting
In addition to it being clean-burning and biodegradable, soy wax also lasts longer than traditional waxes. A single candle made from soy wax burns for up to 50% longer than a traditional candle. This means that you won’t have to replace your candles often, saving you money in the long run.
Soy wax is also non-toxic, which makes it safe for use around children and pets. Traditional candles are made with paraffin candles, which can release harmful toxins into the air when burned. Soy candles do not release these toxins, making them a safer option for your home and better for the environment.
5. Support American Farmers
When you purchase soy candles, you are also supporting American farmers. The vast majority of soybeans grown in the United States are used for animal feed or biodiesel fuel. However, a small percentage of soybeans are used to make soy wax. By purchasing soy candles, you are helping to support farmers who grow this important crop.
The Negative Effects of Soy Wax
The main problem with using soy wax for candles is the fact that they use soybeans.
Here are some potential issues that are often a result of how soybeans are grown.
1. Water Pollution
One of the primary ways that soybeans negatively impact the environment is through water pollution. Soybeans are typically grown in large monoculture farms, where a single crop is planted in vast fields. The large-scale production of soybeans can lead to soil erosion, which can then pollute waterways with sediment and chemicals.
One of the biggest environmental concerns associated with soybeans is deforestation. Soybeans are typically grown in tropical regions, such as Brazil and Indonesia. In order to make room for soybean farms, vast tracts of rainforest are often cleared. This deforestation can lead to a loss of wildlife habitat and increased greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Pesticide Use
Another environmental concern associated with soybeans is the use of pesticides. Soybeans are often sprayed with pesticides in order to protect them from pests and diseases. However, these pesticides can end up in waterways, where they can harm aquatic life. Additionally, when people consume soybeans that have been sprayed with pesticides, they may be exposed to these harmful chemicals.
4. Fertilizer Use
Fertilizers are often used on soybean farms in order to increase crop yields. However, these fertilizers can end up in waterways, where they can cause water pollution. Additionally, the overuse of fertilizers can lead to soil erosion.
5. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Soybean farming also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. The clearing of land for soybean farms results in the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Additionally, using nitrogen-based fertilizers on soybean farms can also lead to releasing greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide.
6. Impact on Wildlife
The expansion of soybean farms can also have a negative impact on wildlife. As mentioned above, the clearing of land for soybean farms can lead to a loss of habitat for wildlife. Additionally, the use of pesticides and fertilizers on soybean farms can also harm wildlife that lives nearby
7. Soil Contamination
Soybean production can also lead to soil contamination. Soil contamination occurs when harmful chemicals from soybean plantations leach into the groundwater or are released into the air. This can contaminate drinking water supplies and cause respiratory problems for those who breathe in the contaminated air.
Read More: 7 Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizers
Why Soy Wax is Better than Beeswax & Paraffin Wax
At first glance, soy wax and beeswax may seem like they’re interchangeable; they’re both natural waxes, after all. However, there are some key differences between the two that make soy wax a better choice for sustainable candles. For one thing, soy wax is a renewable resource – it comes from soybeans, which can be sustainably grown and harvested.
In contrast, beeswax is a non-renewable resource, as the name suggests. It comes from bees, which are in decline worldwide. Additionally, soy wax is a more versatile wax than beeswax, and it can be used in a wider range of products, from lotions to candles. As a result, soy wax is a better choice for those looking to create a sustainable candle.
Paraffin Wax Candles Aren’t Sustainable
Paraffin wax is made from petroleum or crude oil. It’s a non-renewable resource, which means that once we’ve used it, it’s gone. And because the process of extracting crude oil from the ground and refining it into usable products is extremely energy-intensive.
Paraffin wax also has a large carbon footprint. In addition to its environmental impact, paraffin wax can also be harmful to human health. When burned, it releases toxins into the air, including carcinogens. For these reasons, paraffin wax isn’t sustainable.
Sustainable & Renewable Alternatives to Soy Wax
1. Coconut Wax
Coconut wax is a sustainable and renewable alternative to soy wax that is made from the oil of coconuts. Coconut wax candles are non-toxic and have a long burn time. They also emit a pleasant, coconutty scent when burned.
2. Bayberry Wax
Bayberry wax is another sustainable and renewable alternative to soy wax. It is made from the berries of the bayberry bush. Bayberry wax is non-toxic and can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a food wrap, furniture polish, and candle making.
3. Carnauba Wax
Carnauba wax is another sustainable and renewable alternative to soy wax. It is made from the leaves of the carnauba palm tree. Carnauba wax is non-toxic and can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a food wrap, furniture polish, and candle making.
4. Candelilla Wax
Candelilla wax is another sustainable and renewable alternative to soy wax. It is made from the leaves of the candelilla plant. Candelilla wax is non-toxic and can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a food wrap, furniture polish, and candle making.
5. Rice Bran Wax
Rice bran wax is a sustainable and renewable alternative to soy wax that is made from the oil of rice bran. Rice bran wax candles are non-toxic and have a long burn time. They also emit a pleasant, nutty scent when burned.
Conclusion: The Verdict on Soy Wax Being Eco-Friendly and Sustainable
In conclusion, soy wax is eco-friendly because it is made from renewable resources, it is biodegradable, and it does not release harmful chemicals into the environment. You can feel good about the environment knowing that soy wax is sustainable.