Looking out of the window at yet another grey, soggy day, it’s hard not to feel depressed about the probability that the extremes of weather experienced in 2011, in the UK as well as worldwide, have been caused, at least in part, by man’s reliance on fossil fuels.
So burning wood instead of coal or oil makes ecological sense, then? Well, not always.
We have a lot of trees here in Scotland but only a small proportion of our burning fuel comes from the faster grown softwoods. Hardwoods, in particular those mature and beautiful ash and oak trees that grow well here, provide much better logs for the fire or stove…and if they are taken from trees that have fallen or reached the end of their lives, AND are properly dried to a low moisture content, then the carbon footprint of logging them is relatively low…BUT, the ecological impact can be more severe.
However, there is a more eco-friendly, carbon-friendly way to fuel your stove, which is by using recycled timber products and sourcing them as close to home as you can. This is what the Wood Fuel Co-operative is doing, whilst also striving to obtain top quality, efficient fuels that are affordable and give out the heat you want.
Unfortunately we still have to source a couple of our products from abroad, simply because a fuel of comparable quality isn’t yet produced locally. We hope, though, that by creating and expanding the market for recycled wood briquettes and pellets, we will encourage local businesses to start producing their own versions of, say, the bark briquettes, thus working alongside us to keep on reducing our collective carbon footprint.
So here’s to a more carbon-friendly, environmentally-sound and toasty-warm 2012!