How to make soy wax candles for a cozy, autumnal home

September 25, 2020 by  
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As the days get shorter and colder and the nights grow long, people tend to want to make their homes feel cozier. One of the quickest ways to do so is with candles, so now is the perfect time to consider making your own. Why would you do this when it’s so easy to buy candles at the store? Store-bought candles tend to contain unsavory ingredients like animal fat, carcinogenic paraffin and oh-so-unsustainable palm oil. When you make your own soy wax candles, you know exactly what’s in them. Once you improve at making attractive candles, you can even give them as holiday gifts. With the ongoing pandemic, 2020 is the year for DIY hobbies , so get started with this guide on how to make your own soy wax candles at home. Why soy wax ? You can get soy wax online or at a craft store. The wax is made from soybeans which are harvested, cleaned and processed into flakes. Then, the manufacturer extracts oil from the flakes and hydrogenates it, which changes the melting point and makes the oil solid at room temperature. Related: Make your own artisan soap bar from repurposed scraps Most of the world’s soybeans come from the Midwest, especially from Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Soy is a renewable resource that makes for a clean-burning candle. Other good waxes for DIY candles include coconut wax, which is great for holding any scents you might want to add, and rapeseed oil, which has a firm wax that works well for pillar candles. Pick the right wick for your soy candle This may seem like the simplest step, but it turns out there are more than 200 different types of wicks available — and if you pick the wrong wick, your candle will burn inefficiently. You can even make your own wick with cotton string, salt and vegetable oil, as described by Sew Historically . If you’re wick shopping, larger-numbered wicks are thicker and made for bigger candles. A medium-sized candle calls for a medium-sized wick, and so on. It’s wise to make and burn a trial candle before you create a whole batch. If your trial candle flames way up and creates a large melt-pool surrounding the flame, this means your wick is too big. Flame too small? Try a bigger wick. If you switch up your candle recipe by adding coloring or scented oil, this could affect how it burns. So for any changes you make along the way, be sure to burn a trial candle under close supervision. Contain your candle When you first start making candles, you might begin with simple glass jars you have around the house. But the container you choose adds personality to your candle. There are a ton of options, as long as you choose something that won’t catch fire, leak, crack or break. This means no coconut shells, artistic wood pieces or plastic . Metal cans are a good option as long as they don’t leak. If your intended metal container has seams on the bottom or side, test that it can hold water for a couple of days before you trust it to contain your candle. Cracking is a common problem for candle containers. Thinner glassware , such as martini glasses, can crack at high temperatures. Thick glassware, such as jelly jars, which are made to withstand heat, are safe. Ceramic bowls and cups are pretty options. Be aware that if the vessel is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, it will get hotter as it burns and could be prone to cracking, leading to a fire hazard. As a reminder, burn candles on heat-resistant surfaces away from anything flammable, and never leave them unattended. Burning candles isn’t recommended for households with cats or other small, curious creatures that leap on various surfaces or could grab at the candles. A basic DIY soy candle recipe You can melt your wax in the microwave or use a bain-marie, a pan that goes into a larger pot of hot water to melt ingredients. While your wax is melting, attach your wick to the bottom of a clean container. You can use a dab of vegan glue or a bit of molten wax. Straighten the wick and hold it in place until it starts to harden, then put two skewers or chopsticks around it and tape the sticks to the side of your container. Back to the wax — once it has reached 160°F, remove it from heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Then you can add in a few drops of your chosen essential oil, distributing it evenly. Untape the chopsticks from your container. Slowly, gently pour the wax in, leaving half an inch at the top of the container. Be sure to save a little wax. You may need it after your candle sets, as candles often shrink away from the container edges and/or the wick. If this happens to your beautiful creation, you can re-melt that surplus wax and fill in the holes until your surface is even. Let your candles sit overnight, trim the wicks and then they are ready to burn or give as gifts . This is much more personal than buying candles from a store, and you can even create special scent blends for different family members or friends. Images via Jing , Fi Bell( 1 , 2 , 3 ), Samantha Gades and Dan Smedley

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How to make soy wax candles for a cozy, autumnal home

5 Small Steps To Make Your Company More Sustainable

June 15, 2020 by  
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Sustainability shouldn’t be a squeeze on the bottom line — … The post 5 Small Steps To Make Your Company More Sustainable appeared first on Earth911.com.

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5 Small Steps To Make Your Company More Sustainable

Cool through community — a climate action moonshot

July 25, 2019 by  
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Can systems change come from the bottom up? These neighbors believe it can.

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Cool through community — a climate action moonshot

Carbon capture: a life-affirming force of action

July 25, 2019 by  
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Soil restoration. Wetland protection. Systems change.

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Carbon capture: a life-affirming force of action

Oceans are dubbed the ‘ultimate sink’ for plastic waste

March 4, 2019 by  
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Plastic waste has officially reached the deepest levels of the world’s oceans, which are now being dubbed as the ultimate sinks for pollution. Scientists discovered organisms that had ingested microplastics at the bottom of the Mariana trench, which descends over 6,000 meters. The Royal Society Open Science journal published the findings of the study, concluding that all marine environments have now been affected by plastic waste. Many of these microplastics come from substances that do not biodegrade quickly and make their way to the ocean via landfills. Once they reach the ocean, the plastics break down even further and float to the bottom. Related: Point Nemo, the most remote spot in the ocean, is plagued with plastic Scientists are well aware of the impact plastics have on shallow marine environments, where the waste is a choking hazard for seabirds, whales and dolphins. But nobody thought the problem to be as widespread as the study showed. Scientists captured creatures from six different locations deep on the ocean floor. The researchers examined organisms from the Japan trench, Mariana trench , Izu-Bonin trench, Peru-Chile trench and the New Hebrides and Kermadec trenches. Microplastics were discovered in all six locations. Some of the plastics that were ingested included lyocell, ramie, polyvinyl, rayon and polyethylene. The deeper the scientists looked, the more contamination they found. This is largely due to the fact that the waste has nowhere to go once it reaches the bottom of the ocean and cannot be flushed out. “It is intuitive that the ultimate sink for this debris, in whatever size, is the deep sea,” the study concluded. It is unclear how much these microplastics are harming deep sea ecosystems. Scientists believe the waste is more harmful at lower depths, because organisms that thrive in these environments often eat whatever they come across. While scientists continue to do more studies, researchers admitted that it is depressing finding so much plastic waste in a place where humans have such little contact yet are making the biggest impact. Via The Guardian Image via TKremmel

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Oceans are dubbed the ‘ultimate sink’ for plastic waste

2019 could be sustainability’s finest hour — here’s what stands in the way

February 11, 2019 by  
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Sponsored: Schneider provides insights from 300+ industry professionals showing how companies get to the bottom-line benefits of efficiency and sustainability.

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2019 could be sustainability’s finest hour — here’s what stands in the way

Why companies should pay for biodiversity

December 10, 2018 by  
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It’s all a part of their bottom line.

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Why companies should pay for biodiversity

Can COP24 write the golden rulebook?

December 10, 2018 by  
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This is a “use it or lost it moment in economic history.”

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Can COP24 write the golden rulebook?

Sustainable solutions: collaborating for climate change

February 16, 2018 by  
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In today’s political environment, the mantle of climate leadership has been passed to the private sector. Supply chains are the new frontier of sustainability and accelerating this transformation can’t wait. Today, nearly half of all American Fortune 500 companies have stepped up to set climate targets, generating huge results for the planet and the bottom line – more than $3.7 billion in savings for corporations last year alone.

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Sustainable solutions: collaborating for climate change

Uncommon collaboration: Action-oriented transparency

February 16, 2018 by  
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Hear how International Paper and Procter & Gamble are driving sustainable change throughout the value chain and beyond – through strategic alignment, cross-functional dialogue and partnerships. Sustainability leaders will discuss their companies’ respective citizenship strategies, as well as specific collaborations that leverage their combined expertise and scale to create value for customers and stakeholders across commercial, technical, supply chain and sustainability areas.

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Uncommon collaboration: Action-oriented transparency

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