So, how green are we?
Whats so green about Cucumber Wood Candles?
We aim to be as green as the beautiful ancient woodland we are named after!
I am passionate about creating natural candles that bring a sense of peace and calm without costing the earth, in every sense. Each hand-poured candle must be totally natural, clean burning, free of toxins, beautifully scented, long lasting and look simply lovely, to be stamped with the Cucumber Wood tree.
Being a green, sustainable business and protecting our planet for our children and future generations is at the heart of Cucumber Wood Candles. Our candles can only truly bring a sense of well being if they work with, not against nature.
That’s where the soy wax comes in! It is derived from soy beans, a renewable, natural resource. Whilst paraffin wax creates toxins when it is burned, soy wax is free of petrol, soot and toxins and is naturally bio-degradable. The soy wax I use is also importantly GM free, it’s the beans, the whole beans and nothing but the beans! And did I say that the wicks are 100% cotton too?
The essential oils
Each candle is infused with beautiful aromas to put a spring in your step at the start of the day, or bring tranquility when you need to slow down. Scented purely with aromatherapy-grade essential oils, extracted from plants and sourced responsibly - absolutely zero synthetic fragrances are added.
Containers are glass or steel, both of which can be recycled infinitely, they are part of the circular economy. Interesting fact – steel has been recycled ever since it was first made, and 75% of steel products ever made are still in use today! Better still, don’t just recycle! Reuse: return your container to me or the store you bought it from and I will reuse it, and also donate to a local charity that plants trees, as a thank you - lets get a whole forest grown, sponsoring the planting of trees overseas and close to home. . Repurpose: need a new pen holder / vase / plant pot – there you have it! Recycle: clean your jar or container and put it in the recycling, and it can start a whole new life as something else!
And that’s not all
My workshop is based in Field & Hawken, Reading, a homewares store that prides itself on stocking sustainable products with an environmental ethos.
All packaging is reusable / recyclable, paper tape is used and all packaging that my containers arrive in is reused to send candles out safe and secure. I aim for zero waste every day.
I use a wax boiler and a small table-top stove, there is no heating at the workshop (honestly!) so its jumpers on and emissions down! Along with no expensive machinery, our energy output is very low.
Water use is minimal – I don’t wash candle pans out, wax and drains don’t mix, so I give them a wipe out with a cloth each day. The wax boiler is filled with water that only needs replacing every few months and the pans have an inch of water in them for each batch made.
All the furniture in the workshop is re-purposed, there’s been no big shopping expedition to kit it out but it looks gorgeous all the same! If you get a candle with a slight dip in it, that’s because the table isn’t 100% flat, but I like it like that!
I deliver candles locally or post them, and we are stocked by small businesses who are in turn doing their bit for the planet, and who share our ethos. I purchase my supplies from small businesses who demonstrate sustainability – we are part of a community that cares!
I have so much support and help from friends and family and other small businesses, that its a team effort! Thank you each and every one of you.
Is that it then, can we rest on our laurels?
No, of course not! I have goals for 2020 - cycle to the workshop more – its only about 20 minutes away, there are no hills and I have a basket on my bike so this should be possible! I've heard the words Profits, People & Planet, next up is to explore this 'tripple bottom line' and make sure if we aren’t fully addressing it, we will be soon!
Cucumber Wood is a local, ancient woodland, it’s a beautiful spot, its what we are named after, and what we want to save too for the generations to come, one candle at a time.