How do I responsibly and sustainably harvest wild products?
Start by making sure that you have permission and that you can legally harvest the land in mind. Most Federal, State, and Local laws are different for businesses than they are for personal use. Be sure to pick clean unpolluted harvesting areas, stay away from roadside ditches. My techniques for sustainable harvest are: to not harvest if someone has already harvested there; to tread lightly while harvesting; to practice gratitude for the plants; to take no more that 1/4 to 1/3 of any material harvested; to not take more than you can use; to not impede the typical growth of said plant (like leaving a few rose petals on the flower to ensure that the rosehip still forms on the plant); to track plants year to year to ensure they come back with more abundance than the year before (and not harvesting if the plants are diminishing); and to not disturb any natural animal or insect habituations.
How do I properly burn a candle?
Always follow the safety instructions on bottom of candles (or on labels) to get the best burn with your candle. The general rule is to burn a candle an hour for each inch wide. Take our Blue Jar Soy Candles, they are between 3 -4 inches wide so you should burn them about 3-4 hours at a time. It also really helps the candle burn properly if you melt the surface of the candle to the edges on the first burn. This is called a memory burn and it seems to work.
Why is there a metal tab & sticker in the bottom of my candle jar?
These are there for safety purposes. The metal tab (recyclable steel) keeps the flame from touching the bottom of the glass and the sticker keeps the metal tab in the center, preventing the flame from touching the side of the glass. The excess direct heat of a flame directly touching glass can be enough to cause it to shatter. Don’t ask how I know!
Which candle wax is best? Why soy? Why beeswax?
This is a complicated answer…
Paraffin- This is a petroleum by-product, a non-renewable resource that perpetuates our dependance on oil and other fuels that are not and do not have the potential to be an eco-friendly fuel source. It does have its uses, but we should be conserving our fossil fuel resources for things we cannot find a greener alternative for.
Palm- This was an exciting wax a few years ago. However, the regulatory organization that ensures that the palm wax is harvested responsibly has recently been questioned about their integrity and practices. So, not willing to risk the destruction of ancient Asian rainforests & orangutang habitats, Glacial Naturals has chosen to use American grown soy wax and beeswax for our candle line.
Soy wax- Soy is not ideal, yet. It does burn relatively cleanly with a longer burn time than paraffin. We use this kosher soy wax because it is grown in the USA, shortening the distance it has to travel to us by half. Also, it comes from a plant (renewable resource) that can be grown organically. Unfortunately, we have only been able to find soy wax sourced from GMO soybeans. Thankfully all traces of GMOs and chemicals in the soy have been removed during the wax making (hydrogenation) process. Needless to say, searching for years for an organic soy wax supplier has been frustrating! We can only hope with the current momentum of the organic movement that a certified organic soy wax is in the making. We will start testing it as soon as it is available, or have the funds to make it happen. Donations will be accepted! 🙂
Beeswax- The true certifiably organic & sometimes, locally available wax. It is superior in every way (unless you are a vegan, sorry!). It burns beautifully in smaller sized candles while actually purifying the air through ionization. It has it own spectacular delicate aroma, lit & unlit. So no need for any fragrance oils either. We use both Alaskan beeswax and certified organic beeswax. The only drawback is the price, it is various shades of expensive. But worth every penny!
How do I clean, sanitize, & reuse containers?
When you finish your handmade Glacial Naturals product you can easily reuse your jar. Just scrub with soapy water and let dry completely. Then sanitize your jar by boiling (like in canning), spraying with rubbing alcohol, or rinsing in a 5% bleach solution and letting completely dry. Not all are the greenest techniques but effective and necessary when refilling your jar with anything perishable like food or cosmetics. This is a priority.
To reuse candle jars: scrape out excess wax with dull knife (be careful!), pull out the metal tab at bottom with a pliers, and then follow directions below.
Essential oils versus Fragrance oils
Essential oils are plant based oils typically obtained thru distillation. Fragrance oils are mostly if not fully synthetic aromatic chemicals blended together to create a desired scent. Both have strong odors and can be misused.
Will you ship UPS or FedEX?
I don’t know yet…Let us know if you would prefer these services and we will try.
Where can I find information on visiting Alaska?
Check our page dedicated to Alaskan travel based on my personal travels. You can go there by clicking on this link: https://glacialnaturals.com/info/visit-ak/