Beeswax Candles

In: Science

Submitted By zmonahan
Words 2249
Pages 9
This paper presents a life cycle assessment of beeswax candles in the effort to confirm that beeswax candles are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than other comparable variations. Various types of candles are burned every year by millions of consumers; the United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that candle and incense sales exceeded a million dollars in 1999 (Knight, Levin, & Mendenhall, 2001). Beeswax candles, however, are one of the few sustainable and environmentally friendly types of candles available to consumers. Through the exploration of how the collection beeswax affects bees, the energy used and pollution created through candle production and transportation, and the effects burning candles and their disposal have on the environment, a thorough life cycle assessment will support the claim that beeswax candles are the most sustainable and environmentally friendly candle available on the market. To support the aforementioned claims, the environmental effects of other types of candles will be compared to those of beeswax candles.
The collection of beeswax can be traced back millions of years and these traditional ways of beekeeping are still used today (Bradbear, 2009, p.1). Breadbear describes that beekeepers have found that the end of a flowering season is the best time of the year to harvest the honey (2009, p. 42). She explains more thoroughly,
The honeycomb can be simply cut into pieces and sold as fresh, cut comb honey. Alternatively, the honeycomb can be broken up and strained through muslin or another form of filter to separate the honey from the beeswax. After honey is separated from the beeswax combs, the beeswax can be melted gently (over water) into a block. Beeswax does not deteriorate with age and so beekeepers often save their scraps of beeswax until they have a sufficiently large amount to sell. (Bradbear,…...

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