Recycle, compost, walk more drive less, turn off unnecessary lights, take shorter showers. These are all things we’re told to do in order to reduce our impact on the environment to the point that they are second nature to us now. But a large portion of our carbon footprint comes not from the lights we leave on when no one is in the room or the long morning showers we take to wake ourselves up, but from the heat we use in winter. As the nights become longer and colder, making an ecological choice when it comes to heating is an important step to reducing your carbon footprint.
Wood burning stoves are a great option if you’re serious about doing this. While there has been a lot of debate about their ecological impact, when looked at in comparison to fossil fuels such as gas and coal; wood burning stoves really do compare well.
Fossil fuels, as we’ve been told time and time again are in finite supply. But wood can and is being sustainably produced. Cut and replant programmes are in place and practised by most good wood suppliers, while pellets are an option for those with even greater sustainability concerns. Using ‘waste’ products such as saw dust, pellet suppliers offer a product that burns efficiently with low impact on the environment.
The hidden carbon footprint of fuel sources is found in their transportation. From source, to refining, to supplying, to receipt by the customer, each step takes energy to create energy. But the advantage of wood is that it can be locally sourced and processed. And while it may take less energy to transport half the weight in coal, there is less involved in wood processing and wood doesn’t have to travel as far from source to end user.
Even if you live in an area designated as a “smoke control area” by your local authority, under the Clean Air Act (1993) you can still enjoy a wood burning stove. Take a look at a range of contemporary stoves at your nearest supplier and you’ll find that they are classified as Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) approved under the provisions of the act, meaning you can enjoy the comfort and heat they provide without feeling too bad about the impact on the planet.
You should also find a range of different styles, shapes and sizes to suit the heating needs of your family and the décor of your home. So, enjoy your night in by the stove and feel justifiably pleased with yourself that you’ve made the right choice for your family as well as the planet.