A good match (Day 75)…

May 14, 2007


I could be wrong on this one, but my instincts are telling me it’s more environmentally sound to use matches instead of lighters. On the one hand, to make a match, you need to chop down trees for both the stick and the packaging, and there’s the phosphorus on the tip; but then to make a lighter, you need the plastic and/or metal holding case as well as lighter fluid. Although you can refill most lighters, you still have to buy another canister of butane; at least with matches, you can recycle the box, and there’s no toxic waste.

Now, I’m no phillumenist — I love a good barbecue lighter for reaching the wicks on candles that have melted to the bottom of the glass, and it’s not exactly cool to be at a concert waving a series of lit matches back and forth during some power ballad — but there’s something about that smell you get with real wooden matches, especially my favourite brand, Redbird, that brings along memories of camping and bonfires and s’mores (gotta love the Wikipedia entry here with a photo of “a common s’more” — why not show a picture of an extraordinary s’more?).

So the next step in leaving a lighter footprint: no more lighters.

Photo courtesy of photoplasia at Flickr

None of your beeswax (Day 37)…

April 6, 2007

beeswax tealights

When I blew out the last of my gazillion-for-$3.69 tea lites from IKEA the other day, I wasn’t sure which eco-friendly option I should replace them with. Because paraffin, a petroleum byproduct, can sometimes creep into soy candles unannounced, I went for 100% beeswax. As Grassroots says on its site, beeswax candles are non-allergenic, non-toxic and made from “the only fuel known to modern science to produce a ‘negative ion’, which when burned purifies the air.”


They were a little on the steep side ($1.50/ea, $1.25 without the metal container) but seem to last longer, and the sweet honey scent is, well, the bee’s knees. I’m not sure what the deal is with the wick — whether it’s unbleached organic cotton or whatever — but I’m also not sure that I care.

Photo at top yoinked from Grassroots; Glimma, at right, from IKEA