A new and exciting candle making initiative has started here at Grootbos targeting sustainability and waste management. After noticing how much candle wax was being disposed of by Grootbos’ Forest and Garden Lodge each day, the Green Futures Programme decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to develop a sustainable project benefiting both the Private Nature Reserve and the Programme itself.
With approximately five kilograms of residual wax thrown out daily by the lodges, Green Futures is able to produce 100 to 150 candles each day, which they then sell back to the lodges. Each candle produced consists of 50% recycled wax collected from the lodges and 50% new wax purchased by Green Futures from a low-cost, wholesale provider.
With the required costs for this project at an absolute minimum, Green Futures generates a profit of approximately 40 cents on every candle sold. In turn, this project significantly benefits the lodges by reducing their expenses on candles by 95%. If not for special events held at the Reserve for which Grootbos is obligated to purchase specialty candles, this project would eliminate their candle costs almost entirely.
While this fully sustainable project is currently being run by Zimasa and Viola, Grootbos’ Spaza Shop manager and Green Futures’ Project Facilitator, respectively, it is the ultimate hope of Green Futures that this project will lead to additional employment opportunities in the future.