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I'll admit, I'm a habitual candle shopper. It's easily my go-to product to pick up at any store as a (usually) cheap act of self-care when I'm feeling less-than-stellar, and there's something strangely satisfying about just letting one burn all the way down.
When I first moved to New York City and homesickness bore into me, I set out in search of things I could bring into my new apartment that would make the rural town I grew up in feel like it could be just on the other side of the doorway (if you ignored the noise from the traffic). But my homesickness started dissipating once I stumbled upon KOBO's sweet sunflower-scented candle. When I first lit it up in my tiny studio, I was instantly brought back to the field of golden blooms I drove past as I started each new school year in the fall. It was my new signature scent, at least where my home was concerned, and I literally bought the last of its stock from my local store in case the candle was ever discontinued.
Since then, my homesickness has faded, but I've still grown my KOBO collection for other reasons. Upon buying that first candle, I discovered that its box was plantable, lined with seeds of wildflowers (with sunflowers included). So not only could I repurpose the glass jar holding the candle, once it'd burned down, I could also plant the box the candle came in. Sure, I might wind up killing the plant eventually, thanks to my black thumb, but it would still be worth a try!
KOBO offers an entire Plant The Box collection, with candles ranging from Calming Mint and Heath Lavender to Siam Poppy. Each comes in a box lined with seeds associated with their respective scent. For example, the Wild Tomato Vine-scented candle can jumpstart your window box garden with Brandywine tomato seeds.
A couple of years ago, I gave my mom a handful of these candles for Christmas, and when the snow had melted and I returned home for another visit, we were able to plant the boxes in the back garden together. Whereas I had previously felt a bit lazy for getting my mom such an obvious gift, it turned into a really special time to bond, and a moment to force my serotonin-deprived self out in the sunlight after months of being bundled up under heated blankets.
Even if you're not a gardener and don't plan to dabble, KOBO's candles are still a remarkably sustainable choice. The plantable boxes are biodegradable whether they are planted or not, so you're still left with zero waste and prettily scented living space.
I definitely didn't go into buying this candle with the intention of being as eco-friendly as possible, but as it's become a more prominent interest of my own, I can't help but to be just a tad self-congratulatory for having fallen for a product that satisfies each of my sustainability concerns, is well-priced but high quality, and truly cured my homesickness, to boot.
KOBO, Plant The Box Candle in Sweet Sunflower, $28, available at KOBO.