Product Packaging – What a Waste!

Did you know that the average Australian discards around 200 kg of packaging waste per year? That’s a lot of valuable resources being wasted. Packaging waste is an environmental problem for these main reasons:

  1. It pollutes our air, water and soil
  2. It produces a lot of greenhouse gas emissions
  3. It takes a lot of energy to produce

So what’s the solution? Reducing the amount of packaging we use, (or avoiding it all together) is one of the most effective ways of reducing the total footprint of gas emissions produced as a result of waste going to landfill. Also, by using recycled materials for packaging, we can recover some of the energy used to create it. For example, the process required to produce glass initially from raw starting materials involves a lot of heat. The obvious benefits of recycling glass packaging materials is to reuse and save our natural resources  – but the most important benefit of using recycled glass is that the energy required to produce it is considerably less than the energy required to produce glass from raw starting materials.

For the discerning and educated consumer, product design capability extends beyond the product itself to also include the brand philosophy. A progressive brand will always consider the environmental impact of their products and packaging. The philosophy here at Mood Alchemy is simple – “Clean and Green”. Every product in our holistic aromatherapy range of soy candles, reed diffusers, massage oils, room fragrance sprays and goats milk soaps stays true to our eco-friendly brand philosophy:

cropped_logoNatural product ingredients (sustainably sourced)

cropped_logoEnvironmentally responsible

cropped_logoMinimal packaging made from recycled materials

cropped_logoHandmade in Australia

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When comparing product value in a particular market category, make sure you are comparing “apples with apples”. Consider the lifecycle management of the product, and ask yourself these important questions:

  • What function does the product packaging serve – and is it absolutely necessary?
  • Is the packaging made from recycled materials? Can the packaging be reused?
  • Have the product ingredients been sourced from sustainable and renewable sources?
  • Is the product Made in Australia – and all the positive economic benefits to society that come with that? (Remember that buying locally from small business means that the money cycles back through the local community for everyone’s benefit.)

As the discerning consumer, you have a choice as to how to spend your dollars – so make sure you choose wisely with a long-term view. Choosing Mood Alchemy products – which are made from recycled packaging materials with minimal outer packaging – is a positive way to participate in the reduction of environmental damage. Lets keep moving together towards a culture of sustainability.cropped_logo

The Chemistry of Soy Candles

Long ago, candles were a necessity of life, providing a source of lighting after sunset. Today, scented candles are a luxury – using fragrance to create different moods, while their flickering flame relaxes the mind.

Candles consist of two basic elements: 1) a fuel source eg soy wax and 2) a wick. The wick is crucial to the candle function as it serves as the fuel delivery system.

A naked flame is used to ignite the wick, which then melts some of the soy wax at the candle surface. The liquefied soy wax is drawn up through the wick fibres by capillary action – this action occurs due to the cohesion between soy wax molecules and their adhesion to the wick fibres.

After the soy wax travels to the top of the wick, it vaporizes upon contact with the burning flame. Combustion occurs as hot soy wax vapour combines with oxygen, producing the candle flame. The combustion of hydrocarbons is a rapidly occurring exothermic reaction that produces heat and light.

Only the very tip of the wick actually burns. The rest of the wick is involved in capillary action, and is shielded from burning by the vaporisation of the fuel. This has to do with a chemical property called the heat of vaporisation, whereby the fuel absorbs much of the surrounding heat in order to change states from liquid to gas. This vaporisation, in turn, keeps the wick cooler than it would otherwise be.

The flame continues to burn – producing more liquid soy wax, which is used as a fuel and vaporised. This releases the highly fragrant essential oils into the air.

The benefits of natural soy wax candles

Soy is a native East Asian plant that is both a renewable resource and biodegradable – hence it is an eco-friendly choice for the responsible consumer. The soy plant can be continually produced without damaging the natural ecosystem.

To make soy wax, the soy beans are harvested from the plant and processed into oil, which is then purified and hydrogenated. This converts unsaturated fatty acids into saturated fat – producing a solid creamy white wax.

Soy wax has the advantage that it is slow burning due to it low melting temperature, resulting in longer burn times for soy candles. It is also a very clean burning wax, and does not release hazardous chemicals such as toluene and benzene like paraffin based candles can.

The consistency of soy wax allows for candles with a stronger scent and a purer scent throw.

Mood Alchemy Mood Altering Candles are made from 100% natural soy wax with a centrally embedded wick and fragranced with pure essential oils – for your ultimate enjoyment.

Aromatherapy – an ancient art for modern lifestyles

The healing art of aromatherapy uses essential oils, extracted from a range of aromatic plants and trees, to improve mental well-being. These highly aromatic oils have unique therapeutic properties, which can trigger mood changes by association with positive memories.

Literally thousands of years ago, Ancient civilizations used essential oils to cope with a variety of emotional ailments. The Ancient Egyptians had a highly advanced civilization, which recognized the potential of fragrance to uplift the human spirit. They employed aromatics for religious, cosmetic and medicinal purposes – and in particular as a mood altering incense to improve mental well-being.

Now the natural benefits of Aromatherapy are experiencing a renaissance in popularity as this ancient art is being married with modern scientific knowledge to aid in the relief of stress related disorders, such as depression, anxiety and insomnia.

But How?

Our sense of smell is one of the major senses. It responds to the chemical nature of air-borne substances breathed into the nose.

When we inhale an aroma, scent molecules enter the nostrils and pass into the nasal cavity where they dissolve in nasal lining mucosa. This stimulates sensory cells which send signals to the olfactory bulb.

From here, nerve signals travel along the olfactory tract to the cortex, limbic system and hypothalamus in the brain. This is where smells are identified and the body’s response is coordinated.

The limbic area of the brain is primarily involved with our emotions and memories – hence our sense of smell is directly related to how we feel.

Certain aromas can stimulate the limbic system to activate the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, triggering positive emotional responses such as happiness and pleasure – and hence improving our mood.

Aromatherapy can improve our mental state, helping us to cope better with the pressures of everyday modern life and reduce stress levels.

Put simply – Aromatherapy has the power to make us feel good