Is it possible to create eco-friendly candles?

Is it possible to create eco-friendly candles?

Candles… there is so much to love about them. They bring a cozy and warm atmosphere to any room and their delightful scents can really make a house feel like a home. However, not many people realize that most single-use candles are made with petroleum-based wax and toxic chemicals, and in addition to that, produce millions of pounds of waste each and every year. So that begs the question… Is it possible to create eco-friendly candles?

This is exactly the problem we (Lindsay & Nate) set out to solve at Arbor Made by inventing the first of its kind refillable & reusable candle. But before we explain how our refillable candles are a great zero-waste alternative, let’s dive into the environmental impact of traditional single-use candles a bit further.


The Environmental Impact of Candles

Traditional single-use candles may seem harmless, but they can have a significant impact on the environment. Here are some of the ways that traditional candles can harm the environment:

  • Waste: Single-use candles create a lot of waste. Once the wax burns down, the vessel is often thrown away, contributing to the growing problem of landfill waste. In fact, over a billion candles are produced every year, most of which end up in landfills - and candle jars made of materials like glass can take up to 4,000 years to decompose. This creates significant waste.
  • Emissions: Most candles sold in major retail stores are made with paraffin wax, which can have a negative impact on the environment. When burned, paraffin wax releases harmful chemicals such as toluene and benzene, both of which are known carcinogens and can significantly reduce indoor air quality, particularly for individuals with respiratory issues. Additionally, the production of paraffin wax requires a significant amount of fossil fuels and can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Toxic fragrances: In addition to harming the environment and being made of toxic waxes, many traditional candles known for their very strong scents are often made using toxic synthetic fragrances that can be harmful to our health and the environment. What makes a toxic fragrance? Ones that contain phthalates, carcinogens, mutagens, and other toxins linked to hormone disruption and other health issues.

So, despite being such an incredible source of relaxation and comfort, it is unfortunate that some kinds of candles can create so much waste and harmful health effects. If only someone created an eco-friendly, non-toxic, and reusable alternative…


Introducing Refillable Candles

Say goodbye to waste, and hello to refillable candles! Arbor Made is proud to be the first to offer zero-waste, refillable candles with our patented jar design. Our candle jars have a flexible bottom that makes popping out the old wax and refilling the candle jar super easy. Also, our custom candle refills are made with 100% natural soy wax, non-toxic fragrances, and are hand-poured right here in Michigan. Not only do Arbor Made candles help reduce waste, but they're also designed to be reused over and over again. Instead of tossing a glass jar or metal container with each candle, simply refill it and enjoy the same cozy glow over and over again.

We created our candles to be better for you and the environment. As members of 1% for the Planet, we donate a portion of each sale to environmental nonprofits focused on making this world a better place. You can read more about our sustainability initiatives here. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at or check out our website at We’d love to hear from you!!

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