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

forest_picture

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

Essential Oils and Pregnancy

When used correctly, the volatile liquid components of aromatic plants known as essential oils may help to alleviate some of the minor discomforts associated with pregnancy.

Pregnancy and labour place heavy demands on the female body. Enormous hormonal changes occur as soon as an egg is fertilised – and it is these hormonal changes that give rise to pregnancy symptoms such as:

Nausea

Back ache

Oedema (swollen legs and ankles)

Moodiness

Essential oils may assist in the relief of these symptoms via inhalation and massage – hence providing both physical and emotional benefits. Towards the end of their first trimester, many women may experience a heightened sense of smell. Inhalation is one of the safest ways to enjoy essential oils during pregnancy, and when used under proper dilution – most oils should not cause any problems during a healthy pregnancy. The first three months of pregnancy are when the most care must be taken with essential oils and massage. However, it is important to note that the pure essential oils extracted from plants are highly concentrated substances, and certain oils that have the potential to stimulate the uterine muscles may best be avoided during pregnancy – for example:

Basil

Cedarwood

Cinnamon

Juniper

Rosemary

How can essential oils be used to alleviate pregnancy symptoms?

1. Nausea

Nausea is due to a particular chemoreceptor being stimulated. This chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) and associated vomiting centre are located in the medulla – the lower part of the brain stem which connects the spinal cord to the cerebellum.

Stimulation of this CTZ triggers nerve impulses along several cranial nerves, which lead to the stomach and diaphragm and abdomen muscles. This is what results in the vomiting action. Nausea is the awareness of the vomiting centre being stimulated.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is active in the autonomic nervous system – the system that is concerned with controlling automatic bodily functions. Acetylcholine can stimulate the receptor sites involved in the vomiting action – so by inhibiting the uptake of Acetylcholine, the vomiting action can be prevented.

Some essential oils which are known to act as Acetylcholine inhibitors are:

Lavender

Frankinsence

Ylang Ylang

2. Back ache & oedema

Massage with essential oils diluted in a carrier oil during the pregnancy helps to promote circulation, and may assist with reducing the incidence of varicose veins, muscle cramps and the fluid retention associated with oedema.

Mood Alchemy’s Pregnancy blend has been specifically developed to support women during the times they experience pregnancy related symptoms. Our Pregnancy blend utilises the active properties of Monoterpene ester compounds (found in Mandarin and Lavender) which combine synergistically to balance the emotions and soothe the spirits.

Pregnancy has a fresh, sweet aroma which can also be deeply relaxing.

Mood Alchemy Products available in the Pregnancy blend include soy candles, pulse point potions, mood massage oils and mood oils for vaporsation.cropped_logo

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

For any medical condition – always consult a qualified medical practitioner.

Aromatherapy is a complementary healing practice and should be used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment.

Individuals should exercise their independent judgment in determining the appropriateness for a particular purpose or use.

 

Why do soy candles make the best scented candles?

Candles have always been an important part of people’s lives.  Originally used to provide light before the invention of the electric light bulb, now candles are generally used to improve the fragrance of a room or house.  It then follows, that today, people are after an environmentally friendly scented candle that allows for an excellent scent throw, without the harmful contaminants that can be present in some commercially available scented candles.

Enter the soy candle, one of the cleanest burning scented candles.  In comparison to other types of scented candles, for example candles based on paraffin wax, soy candles have a number of obvious advantages.  Firstly, soy comes from beans (that’s right beans!) and so are 100% environmentally friendly and burn without producing any soot.  Paraffin candles, on the other hand, can emit harmful toxic chemicals, like benzene which is obviously not what you want scenting your home. Secondly, because of the chemical makeup of soy, these scented candles burn for much longer than paraffin based candles, yielding a better return per unit scent (yes I made that scientific metric up).  Finally, studies show that soy candles burn at lower temperatures, which helps to distribute the fragrance.

Another practical advantage of the soy candle is that if a spill occurs (fingers crossed that doesn’t happen) it is not a national disaster, since hot soapy water is enough to clean up the spill.  Unlike most other scented candle types, i.e. paraffin, where the clean up can be quite arduous (those who have tried know what I mean).

For the morally inclined there are ethical reasons to choose soy candles over paraffin scented candles. Paraffin manufactures are almost always large multi-national conglomerates whose business practices often involve exploitation of workers in third world countries.  On the other hand soy is a vegetable that can be easily farmed and its production can be traced back to domestic farming which if done correctly is good for Mother Earth.

So to conclude, there are a number of advantages to making soy candles your scented candle of choice.  They are clean, soot free, burn for longer, release no harmful toxins, provide a wide scent throw and are environmentally friendly. Mood Alchemy, strives to produce a quality scented soy candle that not only looks good but aims to affect your mood. Note Mood Alchemy also produces Mood Reed Diffusers - if you are not familiar with reed diffusers, they are excellent for fragrancing a room without the need for burning a scented candle.cropped_logo

The secrets of a perfect soy candle

Here at Mood Alchemy we strive to bring you the most perfect product possible.

After extensive testing and development by our research chemists, we have discovered the secrets to making a perfect soy candle – and now we have unlocked them for you below……….

 

 

Problem: The glass candle container appears to have areas of different colours on the container sides.

 

 

 

Secret : The colour zoning is caused by “shrink back” of the soy wax from the container wall. This occurs when the temperature differential between the container and the wax is too high – and the wax does not adhere to the container sides. It can also occur if the candles cool too quickly after they have been poured. The secret is to have the containers and the soy wax at similar temperatures when pouring.

 

 

 

 

Problem: The soy wax has cracked around the wick.

 

 

Secret: This occurs because the coefficients of thermal expansion are different for different materials. So the soy wax and the wick material will expand and contract at different rates when subjected to a temperature change – resulting in a gap between the two materials. The secret is to insert the wick into the soy wax slowly and at alower temperature – in order to allow the system to reach thermal equilibrium. This will reduce the differential rate of thermal expansion between the soy wax and the wick material.

 

 

candle

Problem: A chalky white substance has appeared on the top of my soy candle.

Secret: This is known as “frosting” and is indicative of a change in the crystal structure of the soy wax. This structural change can occur under these conditions:

(i) The soy wax pouring temperature is too high.
(ii) The soy candles were cooled too quickly.
(iii) The soy candles were stored at too cold a temperature.

 

Problem:  The flame is large and smoking.

Secret: The wick is consuming the soy wax at too high a rate. The secret is to keep the wick trimmed to approximately 5 mm for each burn session of the soy candle.