What does Sustainability mean anyway? The definition of Sustainability is wide. It basically means:
- Living a life of dignity in harmony with nature.
- Renewing resources at a rate equal to or greater than the rate at which they are consumed.
- Living within the resources of the planet without damaging the environment now or in the future.
When I started making candles in 2003, I did not start my business, Pauper’s Candle Company, thinking that I wanted to make candles that were sustainable. I am not sure the term was really used then. But as I started to learn more about the products I was using and could use, I started to make conscience efforts to use products that were renewable, recyclable, and made in the US. This was the beginning of Pauper’s being sustainable without knowing it.
For almost five years, Mark and I have been living in Idaho and have built our home on our 10 acres with allot of sweat equity. We were not necessarily thinking sustainability when we decided to build our home using solar energy. We were thinking of having a lifestyle that was slower, simple, and debt free. We run our home from our 10 solar panels and 12 batteries. On average we pull out our generator 5-7 times a year. Our life style has become sustainable.
As a result of our home being run by solar energy, Pauper’s Candles produces its products using solar energy. I think that this is pretty cool. Our solar panels generate the power to run our home business. I would say this is sustainability
This year at the Farmer’s Market in Sandpoint, Idaho, I will be selling what they call “farm baked goods” along with our candles. Farm baked goods are those baked goods that have at least one of the top three ingredients from your property/farm. Since we have chickens (eggs), grow and harvest strawberries, raspberries, and an assortment of vegetable from our garden each year, our baked goods are from food we raise and grow ourselves. Again, this is sustainability.
With Pauper’s Candles, I also reuse all our shipping boxes and packing materials for us to use when we ship our products. So, if you order Pauper’s Candles and see your order arrive in a box with another company logo on it do not be alarmed, we are recycling the box. My local grocery store, Super 1, gladly gives me their empty boxes. Just the other day a friend of mine had empty boxes from orders for her business and gave them to me to reuse. And again, this is sustainability.
Additionally, we purchase our materials from companies who are located in the US and we attempt to purchase materials that are made in the USA. I have become friends with a woman who has a Lavender Farm in Oregon. They grow, distill, and sell their own Lavender Essential Oil. This is the oil I use in my Lavender candles in my From Nature Candle Line. And again this is sustainability.
My husband and myself believe that we are to take care of the dirt we live on and have a positive impact on our environment because we are in charge of taking care of God’s creation. Pauper’s Candle Company is run with this in mind. We want to produce products that are of quality and sustainability. When we look back at how we ran our home business and made our products, we want the wake left behind us to be one that is positive.