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A Green Touch for the Tiki Torch

A Green Touch for the Tiki Torch

Aren’t Tiki torches designed to put you in a festive mood? Not for me. Instead of inspiring me to party, Tiki torches billowing smoke and fumes make me withdraw. It isn’t just that I know I won’t feel very well from all the fumes, and that I won’t be alone. While most Tiki torch lamp oil is more refined than the kerosene used in the past, it is a petroleum product and exposure can cause headaches, shortness of breath, skin disorders, and more. More than causing people not to feel well (which is bad enough), those burning fumes are just about the last thing our poor planet needs.

Tikki torches burn up fossil fuels causing global warming, and the petroleum-based paraffin oil–or propane, or citronella (95-97 percent paraffin)–is not a renewable resource. Imagine what one weekend of Tiki torch burning in the United States would do to our collective carbon footprint? (And, of course, electric Tiki torches burn energy in a different way.)

Who doesn’t love a campfire, fire pits, and the ambiance of flickering flame? I like the idea of torches. And, of course, light outside at night is very useful for lots of reasons, including seeing and enjoying dinner and drinks with friends and family.

Enter solar Tiki torches to save the day (and planet). And vegetable oil PorchTorch for those who want the real flame, but petroleum-free. For me, I am a huge fan of the LED solar Tiki Torches, with a lifespan of 100,000 hours and batteries that only need to be replaced every two years. Not only that, but the LED lights keep getting better. If you want a colorful outdoor lighting display for a holiday (red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July? Red and green for Christmas?) you can purchase colorful solar glow crystals.

REALITY CHECK: Solar Tiki Torches.
Expense: Comparable to oil-based torches.
Energy-saving: Significant.
Convenience: Available in most communities.
Durability: We recommend LED solar torches for longevity.

REALITY CHECK: PorchTorch vegetable torch oil.
Expense: $30 a gallon, the same as $30 a gallon for paraffin oil.
Energy-saving: Avoids using a non-renewable resource (petroleum).
Convenience: Not available everywhere, but can be purchased online.

Read more: Home, Health & Safety, Lawns & Gardens, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , ,

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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10:56AM PST on Nov 23, 2012

Hi Annie, Thank you for the informative article. For those that do like tiki torches but hate the smoke and smell, we are just now introducing to the market a non-toxic, smoke-free, sustainable tiki torch fuel. It's called Firefly Safe & Green Fuel. If ingested by a person or pet, a mild upset stomach may occur. Funny, I think the title of your post fits our new fuel perfectly "A Green Touch for the Tiki Torch".

8:40PM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Great. Thanks for the info Annie.

8:10PM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

I am always wondering why the polluters have all the rights and those of us who don't want to breathe tiki fumes don't have any? Its hot out. Its too hot to close the windows and I am forced to breathe the neighbors tiki fumes in the land of the free for some but not for those who want clean air. What an unfair land of the free! Why don't we have clean air rights? This is so unfair!

5:32AM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

Thanks for the article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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