Let's light a candle less!
On the day of the dead, it is customary to light a classic candle in the cemetery in memory of deceased relatives, friends and loved ones. Although we have a good intention, we have a negative impact on the environment. The candles they sell in our country are extremely burdensome for the environment, as they are made of plastic that cannot be recycled, and at the same time they contain paraffin, which is a by-product of oil refining and is not exactly the healthiest for our airways. Candle burning also causes a certain proportion of CO2 emissions into the air. Maybe not as much as a factory, a power plant or cars, but we can always think globally and act locally.
The number of purchased candles in Slovenia has been declining for several years, but Slovenians are still among the top in terms of consumption among Europeans (besides Poles and Austrians). Namely, Slovenians light an average of 8 candles per person, which amounts to 15 million candles and 6,000 tons of waste annually. These are really big numbers, so more and more organizations and volunteers are joining campaigns that encourage less use of plastic candles, lighting candles that are more environmentally friendly, or some even more environmentally friendly way of commemorating the dead.
What can you do yourself? Awareness and change in behavior count the most.
1. Bring a flower or twig instead of a candle
Lighting a plastic candle is not the only way to remember the dead. Instead, you can visit the graves and leave a flower or twig in memory.
2. Choose a glass candle instead of a plastic candle
Glass is a natural material that can be recycled endlessly with a simple process that does not burden the environment. Glass candles are one way to reduce the amount of plastic waste and recycle plastic, which is quite burdensome for the environment.
3. A solar candle burns for many years
This is another fairly new innovation that allows the candle to be powered by solar energy and lit for many years. Otherwise, the purchase cost of a solar candle is slightly higher (from 8-20 €), but this avoids waste and the candle burns much longer than a regular or electronic candle.
4. Virtual candle with dedication
You can also light a virtual candle in memory and attach a dedication. To date, more than 30,000 virtual candles have been lit.
5. A pebble with a drawn candle instead of a candle
In memory of deceased grandparents and other relatives and friends, you can draw a candle on the pebbles. Then take these stones to the graves instead of candles. The unique stones will be even more authentic memories of deceased relatives and friends, and at the same time it is completely environmentally friendly.
An example counts the most, so it is important that more and more of us decide to replace plastic candles and do something for the environment.