2 Dec 2009

Use your wood burner responsibly

'Use your wood burner responsibly' - that was the message from a Stroud District Council news release yesterday and I thought I would share it here as I welcome the move to cover this topic.

Indeed many people do not seem to realise the potential problems that burning unsuitable materials or 'wet' logs can cause - fumes and smoke can for example drift over other peoples homes and gardens especially in some of the Stroud valleys - and this smoke can be harmful to children, people with respiratory health problems and the elderly.

As their news release says a wood burner can offer an effective way of heating the home - wood fuel forms a sustainable source and is classed as carbon neutral - although combustion of wood fuels release CO2, this is offset by the CO2 absorbed by the planting of trees. However we often forget to recognise the chainsaws cutting the wood and the transporting - plus the wood has to be burnt well. Responsible wood burning should minimise the emissions from a wood fire ie:
- burn only dry, seasoned wood that has been stored for six months (see advice on photo)
- don't burn treated, painted, green or wet wood
- burn small, hotter fires that produce less smoke

- don't burn any plywood or particle board

- don't burn rubbish like plastic: where possible recycle it instead.

Local wood fuel project?

All this brings me to make a plea for anyone interested in a local wood fuel project to get in touch - it could involve cutting wood say once a month from local woods - there is already a group of 12 folk who go out and do their stuff in Hawkwood with 2 chainsaws, there are now a few others interested in a project this side of Stroud. Let me know....

Lastly while we are on wood....SDC have produced a number of fact sheets detailing how to install renewable energy in the home. Case studies include a focus on wood pellet stoves and boilers. Download the fact sheets at www.stroud.gov.uk/renewables

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