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Earth Hour – flick off, power up!

Earth_Hour_PostWhat are you doing Saturday night? Here’s an awesome idea.

Turn off the lights for 60 minutes.

Across the world on March 28th, millions of people will be doing the same at precisely 8:30pm local time. The reason? To celebrate earth and raise awareness about climate change.

Earth Hour was created in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund in Sydney, Australia and has since grown into a global lights-off event in more than 162 countries and territories. Check out photos online… you’ll be amazed at the beauty of people everywhere gathering, lighting candles, and gazing at starry skies.

So join in! Here’s how:

1. Find an event near you

Near Northampton, MA? We’re co-hosting @ Dobra Tea (186 Main Street). Join us for music, food & amazing artisan teas on March 28th. Lights out, candles lit at 8:30pm!

2. Create your own Earth Hour event

3. Join Prosperity Candle’s “9 fun things to do during Earth Hour” on social media and win one of 9 candles

4. Most importantly, turn off all your non-essential lights at 8:30pm on March 28thEarth Hour candles

Whether you’ll be stargazing, striking a yoga pose, connecting with someone you love, or taking part in a local event… do it by candlelight. And tell the world!

Simply head to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share one thing you’ll do while the lights are off for a chance to win. We’ll be announcing 9 winners on March 31st. See rules below.

We all recognize that individually, it’s hard to make a significant difference when it comes to climate change. But together, we can. Global problems require global solutions, and Earth Hour shows us how simple it can be unite people across time zones for a worthy cause.

Your power to make change happen is unlimited when you connect and join forces with others. And have a bit of fun along the way.

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Eligibility

No purchase is necessary to enter or win this contest. Only one (1) contest entry per person. Entrants must be over 18 years of age and a legal resident of the United States. Void where prohibited. Entries must have a current e-mail address to be eligible (winners will be contacted for shipping information to send your prize). Prosperity Candle employees are not eligible to enter the contest. Prosperity Candle will not sell your address or personal information.

Picked up her skirts, kicked off her heels

by Emma Cotler Powers

Prosperity Candle is about independence, women’s entrepreneurship, and breaking the mold. That’s something I can relate to.

I come from a family of women, literally and metaphorically. My grandmother is the matriarch. After fitting the mold of the model woman at an early age of 23 she picked up her skirts, kicked off her heels, and ran away to New York City where she became an artist.

She was playing with csculpturelay, doing mostly abstraction, when suddenly one of her creations looked at her. She started to make a crowd of them – crones, she called them.

The dictionary definition of a crone brings to mind witches, hags and just general unpleasantness. Hers, though, were full of meat, life and heartache. They hung on the walls in her old apartment, arranged in waves as if they were climbing and descending hills. I looked at their non-faces, for they were just hooded holes, and imagined my ancestors making their way to America. “A crone is a woman with the wisdom of years,” my grandmother told me.

I never questioned her confident dismissal of the negative connotations surrounding the word. I simply accepted her broader view, her kinder view. I instinctively understood that wisdom in women is feared and distorted.

She had three equally strong and rebellious daughters. I am one of her two granddaughters. When I look in the mirror I see a lucky woman, but a woman nonetheless: someone whose face is a drawing board for the world to sketch upon. The word woman is still so fraught with meaning that my face is alight with it.

I urge all of us to pick up our metaphorical skirts and kick off our metaphorical heels – to break the mold and show others the way – in celebration of International Women’s Day.

My grandmother, a silver haired crone of 86, would applaud loudly.

ONE BILLION RISING

One Billion Rising V-Day

We sent an email that said women are not a possession. On Valentine’s Day.

It elicited more responses than usual, mostly “thank you.” But many also questioned our purpose.

Here it is.

“Women are not a possession” is from Tena Clark’s Break The Chain, the anthem for ONE BILLION RISING that has become a global campaign to end violence against women and girls. Founded by Eve Ensler, it is women and men gathering in over 200 countries to express outrage and solidarity – and to dance. It’s incredibly powerful.

When we started Prosperity Candle, supporting women in regions of conflict was our purpose. The founders had traveled around the world for decades helping people escape poverty through entrepreneurship. In the places we worked, this is what we observed:

Men have more access to resources. Women face more obstacles. Often men waste their money. Women typically invest theirs more wisely.

When we launched Prosperity Candle with our own limited funds, we chose to invest wisely, in women. It was March 2009, and I was traveling to meet with our pilot project partner, Women for Women International. On the plane I read about participants in their programs, women who had survived war.

I arrived in tears. The atrocities these women had experienced were beyond comprehension. So was their strength and resilience. A year later Wafa’a, a widow who lost her husband to a mortar landing on their apartment, held up her first pillar candle telling President Obama that Iraqi women are strong and independent.

That is how we started, and who we are. All of our candles are handmade by strong women building a brighter future for themselves and their families, here in the U.S. and overseas. Women who have faced and overcome unspeakable adversity.

February 14th is the worldwide event day for ONE BILLION RISING. We are incredibly inspired by this movement and Eve’s engaging approach to activism. It relates to our own purpose and the women we work with, which is why we sent the Valentine’s Day email.

We encourage you to visit V-Day on facebook and ONE BILLION RISING to discover powerful videos, images and more.

Thank you for asking.

And if you missed our email, here are the links:

Break The Chain, One Billion RisingOne Billion Rising video

Her Personality, Her Fragrance

Our bespoke fragrance collection is uniquely designed to appeal to everyone, from fans of rich musky scents to those who prefer something light, crisp, and fresh. Below, our guide to picking a candle in her fragrance, something she’ll absolutely love . . . without giving yourself away before it’s unwrapped!

For the romantic

Amber&Orchid_JennyPennywood She loves a good romantic comedy and the sight of fresh flowers on her bedside table. Our Amber & Orchid fragrance is perfect for the hopeful romantic in your life. It’s lushly floral yet complex, with notes of bergamot and clary sage, and the addition of amber takes it to a new level of sophistication.

Perfect for: an indulgent evening in with her closest girlfriends, catching up on each other’s lives and dreams for the future.

For the minimalist

SeaGrass_anamontiel

She abhors clutter and distractions. She’s the only person you know who has her email inbox entirely under control. Her motto is ‘buy less, choose well’. For your most organized friend, the one who extols of virtues of simple living, a clean and nature-infused scent. Reminiscent of her favorite beachside moments, it’s a fresh and joyous fragrance . . . never excessive.

Perfect for: adding a bit of peaceful, seaside atmosphere to her weekly electronic-free night, when she turns off her phone and computer in favor of good old fashioned time with the family.

For the gourmand

VanillaBean&Peppercorn_jeanalexanderfraterShe lives for new culinary experiences — everywhere she travels, she’s got a wishlist of restaurants to try. Her kitchen overflows with cookbooks. She’s the consummate hostess, and while everyone else will try to wow her with kitchen gadgets and specialty spices, she’ll really love the potent combination of classic vanilla bean and sharp, spicy black peppercorn. Her fragrance compliments her refined palette.

Perfect for: a fragrant addition to her morning ritual of artisanal coffee, sipped slowly while reading the daily paper (or the latest recipes on Epicurious).

For the explorer

PR&P_janetlittleShe wants to go coast to coast, from the rocky beaches of Maine to the majestic forests of the Pacific Northwest. She’s wild about travel, all the adventure the big wide world holds. Inspire her wanderlust with a rich blend of redwood and exotic patchouli. No matter where she’s come from or where she’s headed, the fragrance will bring her back to center.

Perfect for: a long relaxing bath after a week of backpacking with friends in the Catskills.

 

Water.org candles: give globally with the gift of light and clean water

Prosperity Candle supports water projects around the world with Water.org candle collection

Safe water transforms lives.

For more than twenty years, Water.org has pioneered safe water and sanitation solutions that give women hope, children health and communities a future. This holiday, we’ve partnered with Water.org on an exclusive candle collection supporting the cause of clean water for those who need it, all around the world.

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Transform lives with a Water.org candle this holiday

Ethically handmade with a fresh Rainwater scent, each Water.org candle comes gift boxed with the story of the woman who made it. Every purchase donates 10% to Water.org, to support their projects in Haiti, Bangladesh, Uganda, and more.

Shop Water.org candles on Prosperity Candle, and learn more about Water.org’s important work below!

Blogging ethically: our favorite ethical lifestyle blogs

We’re a little bit addicted to lifestyle blogs.

What can we say? We love beautiful interiors, clever ideas for diy projects, and all things lovely. What we love even more is discovering amazing blogs focused on covering ethical brands and providing thoughtful alternatives to traditional purchases. Below are a few of our favorite ethical lifestyle blogs — we’d love to know yours!

Buy Conscious

Bringing you “daily inspiration for conscious living”, Buy Conscious is the passion project of Rose and Julia, two women lending their voices and efforts to making consumers aware of the power of their purchases. Right now, we’re loving their ideas for holiday gifts that keep on giving through Oxfam America’s Unwrapped program. And we were honored to be included in their recent write up of conscious candles!

Ecocult

Based in New York City but reaching far beyond, Alden Wicker’s Ecocult is a great resource for sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives. Showcasing amazing brands doing good, with an eye for highend style and design, Ecocult consistently covers items that end up on our wishlists. With holiday season madness approached, Alden recently wrote a open letter to her family on present-buying . . . a great thought piece and conversation starter for any of us feeling that the over-consumption of Christmas needs to be scaled way back!

Life Style Justice

Hannah’s heart and soul is in social justice — she works with non-profits and for-good businesses, and identifies as a social activist and conscientious consumer. Life Style Justice is her outlet for sharing the many ways she aligns her values with her purchases. Filled with posts on ethical fashion, homemaking, and more, our favorite feature is Life Style Justice’s Ethical Style Files, a gorgeous lookbook of Hannah’s fair trade, thrifted, made in the U.S.A., and otherwise ethical wardrobe.

Let’s Be Fair

Dominique’s internet home was one of our first ethical blog discoveries, so it holds a special place in our hearts! Working from the belief that a “thoughtful  and ethical lifestyle can be stylish, affordable, and fun,” Dominique covers a wide range of topics relating to ethical purchasing — from beauty to ethical good for little ones to how to throw an ethical wedding (her recent post showcasing ethical engagement rings was full of stunning rings that would light up any proposal).

Many Sparrows

Kayla’s goal is to inspire women to find a story worth sharing, and she does so through thoughtful, personal essays on her blog Many Sparrows. From sharing stories of motherhood (her letter to her son Joseph about the joy of being his mother brings tears to our eyes) to reflections on her faith and values, Many Sparrows is an uplifting read time and time again. We were lucky enough to have Kayla share our story with friends at the Influence Conference, and her passion for our work touched us deeply!

Did we miss an ethical lifestyle blog you love? Drop us a comment and let us know!

Little Known Methods for Reducing Holiday Stress

At Prosperity Candle, we are constantly searching for new ways to help our friends and customers (okay, and ourselves!) to relax and unwind. With the holiday season approaching, there’s a whole lot of joy and merriment around the corner . . . but additional stresses, too! Our to-do lists seem never ending and the season always has a surprise or two in store (an newly-instituted end of year report at work, an unexpected holiday guest at home . . .).

Sometimes we all need to take a breath and remember to celebrate what the holidays are all about: joy, genuine connections with family and friends, beautiful moments to cherish (if only we could unwind a bit).

If you’re feeling stressed this fall and need to get your mind back on track, here are 5 often overlooked ways to keep focused, disconnect from stress, and unwind during the holiday season.

Keep a journal

Keeping a journal is an excellent way to take a step back from your life, get your thoughts in order and clear your mind for a moment. A cluttered and hectic life will suddenly seem much more manageable once you’ve got it all down on paper.

5x7_OwlBlueWhile it’s easy to keep a journal on your laptop, or even on your phone or tablet, we really recommend buying a notebook and writing out your thoughts by hand. It doesn’t have to be fancy (although there are plenty of fun options out there). Maybe it’s because we so often associate typing with working, but letting your feelings flow through a pen and onto paper will often relax you in a way that typing doesn’t.

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The making of the Forever Candle

It all starts with the perfect glass.

Our dream of the Forever Candle started with the beauty and symbolism of an egg. The shape came to life through a collaboration with expert glassblowers in Poland: thick walls, a heavy sham, and delicate curves. Every one handblown, our team of artisan candlemakers clean and prepare each glass, carefully affixing cotton wicks by hand.

It all begins with the perfect glass Htoo carefully wicks each glass by hand

When it comes to candlemaking, getting the recipe right is key. We think of it as part chemistry, part art. Fragrance is measured and added to our soy blend wax, mixed and melted by hand. And before candles can be poured, the glasses need to be heated to the right temperature, ensuring a beautiful appearance and candle performance.

Fragrance and wax come together to create the perfect mixture for pouring. Heating the glass to prevent unsightly bubbling

Once the blended wax & fragrance has reached the perfect temperature, the pouring can begin. Each glass is slowly filled, ensuring no spattering of wax on the glass walls. As the wax flows from the pitcher, it begins to solidify almost immediately, transitioning from crystal clear to milky white. It’s beautiful to watch — definitely the part of the process that most feels like magic!

Htoo checks on wax Wax flows from pitcher to Forever Candle glass

Before the wax can cool, wick centering tools are used to hold the wick perfectly straight. To ensure the wax cools correctly, candles are covered while the wax solidifies. Finally, candles are inspected for quality — we often re-melt wax to ensure a lovely, level candle. Designed to burn beautifully, at first and every light.

Wick centering tools keep wicks from sagging Moo Kho checks a Forever Candle for any imperfections

We take pride in every candle we pour, but the Forever Candle is particularly special to us. Every one comes with a lifetime of complimentary refills, for a lifetime of impact — every pour provides living wage work for women artisans building a brighter future after years as refugees.

Shop the Forever Candle

images by Meg Haley of Meg Haley Photography

Prosperity Candle for The Little Market

photo by The Little Market

We’ve long been fans of The Little Market, a beautifully curated online marketplace of ethically sourced handmade goods changing the lives of artisans around the world. (Their mission aligns with the Prosperity Candle mission so perfectly!) And we’re honored to be their very first U.S. partner! We collaborated with them to create an exclusive line of hand poured candles in scents perfect for holiday entertaining (like Pumpkin Pie and Holiday Spice) or any time during the year (like rich, sophisticated Vetiver, a personal favorite).

Head over to The Little Market’s blog for a Q&A with Prosperity Candle founder Ted Barber. And don’t forget to check out our candles in their shop!

photo source: The Little Market instagram

What’s the real environmental impact of a candle?

It’s a question we ask ourselves all the time. As a socially responsible business, we also have a responsibility to our planet. We strive to minimize our environmental impact in every way possible!

Prosperity Candle's ingredients

Soy versus paraffin

At first glance, soy wax or beeswax seem like the obvious raw materials to use when thinking about environmental sustainability. Surprisingly, this is not always the case!

After much research, we have concluded that our custom paraffin-soy blend is the most sustainable choice we can make today. Paraffin is a material that is available regionally in large quantity, so using it means a much lower carbon footprint than with other waxes that must be shipped in.

Paraffin is also a by-product, which if not used would go into the waste stream. We’ve found that most soy wax is sourced from agribusiness, where large amounts of petrochemicals are used in carbon-intensive cultivation methods. Paraffin can actually be a more sustainable option than soy when you compare total environment impacts.

Healthwise, food-quality paraffin burns as cleanly as other high quality waxes. At Prosperity Candle, we use only the highest grade candle waxes with natural cotton wicks (no lead or zinc) for a long-lasting, clean burning candle.

Smoke & soot

It’s an unavoidable fact: all waxes emit some soot. If made and burned correctly (yup, trimming your wick actually matters!), a flame should not emit smoke. And here’s the good news: waxes burn cleanly if they are high quality, highly refined, and the production of the candle is technically correct.

Our candles and fragrances meet the strict California Proposition 65 for indoor air quality, and contain none of the performance enhancers that low-grade, very fragrant candles use.

Production standards

When looking at how ‘green’ a candle is, you have to also consider the environment in which it is made and the candle container.  We are proud to be a certified B-Corp for our environmental and social sustainability practices.  We make our candles in a clean, healthy environment for both our candle artisans and the candles themselves.

In selecting our vessels, we always aim for recycled, recyclable, repurposed and fair trade.  We hate the idea of a candle vessel being thrown out when done, which is why we have a section of our site dedicated to reuse and repurposing, which is many times better than simply recycling.

Moo Kho centering a wick in our production studio

Sustainable business values

Our team consists of locavores in both spirit and practice. We eat produce from New England farms shares, buy local dairy products, and support artisans in our neighborhoods. But we also recognize that not everything we use can be made locally – and that there are people living in distant places who can greatly benefit from trade.

While working to improve the lives of women in places of conflict and disaster, we strive to minimize our carbon footprint wherever possible. We consolidate shipments, select routes with the smallest carbon footprint (we are a strong advocate of ships using wind power to reduce fuel use), minimize packaging and waste, recycle & reuse everything we can, and regularly purchase carbon offsets.

We are committed to tracking and continually reducing Prosperity Candle’s carbon footprint over time.

Have a question about our environmental impact? Get in touch via Twitter or Facebook!

GOOD

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