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Sustainable alternatives for firewood

Lighting the fire pit or outdoor fireplace this winter brings joy to the colder days. Roast marshmallows, snuggle with your partner or share a fantastic bottle of wine with good friends around the firepit. Unfortunately, there are also some cons to burning wood in the fire pit. Let’s take a look at alternative ways for burning wood in fire pits and outdoor fireplaces

Five problems with burning wood

  1. Burning wood increases air pollution.

  2. Burning wood releases carbon monoxide into the air, which you, your children and your guests then breathe in.

  3. Burning wood leaves a messy creosote residue in the fire bowl of your fire pit, in the firebox of your fireplace and your chimney.

  4. Breathing in the tiny particles and gases of wood smoke can irritate your nose, lungs and eyes, causing burning and coughing.

  5. The production of firewood requires cutting down trees unnecessarily.

Consider burning fuel other than wood in your fire pit to contribute to a more sustainable world.

Fire wood - Fernhill

Sustainable alternatives for burning wood

There are alternative ways to enjoy a backyard fire without using burning wood. Some may be a little more expensive, but others are very applicable. Here’s a list of more eco-friendly wood alternatives you can consider using instead of burning wood. Try to see which one suits you best and works best for your outdoor fireplace or fire pit.

  1. Wood bricks, also called biomass bricks, are made from recycled sawdust and wood chips condensed into bricks and dried in a kiln. These bricks burn hotter and cleaner than traditional firewood and take less storing space. Because these bricks are made from wood chips and sawdust, they’re also very applicable for roasting marshmallows.

  2. Wood pellets can also be used for outdoor cooking and heating fire pits. Wood pellets are made from condensed sawdust and scraps from lumber mills. You will need a specially designed fire pit for burning wood pellets so you can safely burn them. Another option is to use a metal basket in your firepit.

  3. Soy and switchgrass logs are eco-friendly alternatives for burning wood. These logs are a 50% blend of soybean and switchgrass with a natural wax as a binder. These logs are safe to burn and don’t leave much of a mess in your fire pit. Plus, it leaves a sweet scent as it burns.

  4. Recycled coffee grounds are also suitable to burn in fire pits. Coffee logs burn hotter than dry wood and are made with recycled coffee grounds, collected from cafes, offices and other coffees spots. This spreads a faint coffee scent but doesn’t make your garden smell like a coffeehouse. If you use coffee grounds as fuel, less material will be wasted and sent to landfills.

Eco-friendly fuels for fire pit - Fernhill

Choose eco-friendlier alternatives for fire pits

Now it’s your turn to choose alternative ways to burn in the fire pit or outdoor fireplace. Let’s have a warm and cozy winter without doing too much harm to Mother Nature. You can ask our colleagues at the garden centre for advice. 

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