When I first started making tealights, I used clear plastic (polycarbonate) cups, because they were readily available and I liked the all around glow that they produced. As yogis, we are constantly using tealights during our daily meditations – burning them in various holders – lotus flowers, Himalayan salt holders, clear votive holders and sometimes just on a plate or puja tray.

Tealight in polycarbonate cup
Tealight in polycarbonate cup with the Medicine Buddha

Each year, we donate candles and personal care products to the Eldorado Mountain Yoga Ashram’s craft fair to support our spiritual community. A couple of years ago, one of the younger yogis said she really liked the tealights, but was concerned about the environmental impact of the plastic. (thank goodness for the environmental awareness of the younger generation!) I took that to heart and looked into using metal cups instead. At the time, I could only find the small metal cups which don’t burn as long, but were great for using in smaller holders like essential oil diffusers and the tops of ceramic urns. They worked in all our other holders, as well.

Metal Tealight with Ganesh
Metal Tealight with Ganesh

I joined a beeswax candle making group on Facebook which has provided me with great advice as I hone my handcrafted candle skills. The moderator of the list includes this little blurb in her brochure:

Polycarbonate Cups are now preferred over aluminium. With a lower manufacturing melt point they are significantly more energy efficient to produce and therefore carry a lower carbon footprint than aluminium cups.

Well, now I was perplexed! Which is better for the environment? At Buddha And The Bees, we try to be as environmentally conscious as possible in our production and packaging – using organic products in our personal care products and recycling/minimizing packaging. I took to the interwebs, but could never completely substantiate the claim above. However, we now source recyclable plastic cups (#7) and the metal cups can be recycled which hopefully reduces the environmental impact of production. We refill our empty cups for personal use and at some point will sell tealights without cups so you can reuse the ones you’ve already purchased.

So we give you the option to decide which type of holder is right for you. We now have metal cups that are the same size and price as the plastic cups as well as the smaller metal cups if that better fits your tealight holder. Whatever your choice, we hope you’ll enjoy the glow of Buddha And The Bees tealights as much as we do.

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