Can lighting a match help the environment?

Photo courtesy of green lit at Even if you have a high-tech, earth friendly toilet, how many times have you heard someone say “Light a candle” after you use the bathroom? Not only does lighting a candle reduce the unpleasant smell, but it also burns up a lot of stinky hydrogen sulfide as well as odorless methane gas. Methane is the second worst gas causing climate change, responsible for climate change, and it has a much stronger heat trapping effect than CO2:

Molecule for molecule, methane gas is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a warming agent. However, since methane doesn’t stay in the atmosphere as long – around 12 years, on average, compared to a hundred years for CO2 – and human activities do not produce all that much of it, concerns about climate change have mostly been focused on carbon dioxide. The one big worry was that warmer temperatures might cause massive releases of methane from natural sources.

Burning up the stink not only reduces the greenhouse effect but it can also reduce some friction in your household. That said, be careful with matches. Don’t burn a candle if your bathroom always smells funky – that could be a sign that explosive sewer gas is leaking into your house from the pipes. Also, don’t spray any deodorant before lighting that match. No one wants to find out the hard way that fire and aerosol cans are an explosive mix. Photo courtesy of Poet for Life at


  1. […] L­igh­t­ a mat­c­h­ n­­ t­h­e­ l­oo. B­u­rn­­in­­g of­f­ you­r meth­an­­e gas is good f­or th­e en­­viron­­men­­t. Perh­aps ou­r glob­al crisis w­ou­ld b­e solved if­ w­e ju­st f­ollow­ed cow­s arou­n­­d w­ith­ a can­­dle. […]

  2. Well, though the sentiment of my picture doesn’t quite match the sentiment of your thoughts in this article, I think it’s OK that you use it. I had to smile, when I read your text. 🙂

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