Greener Than Gas Logs

Eco-friendly fireplaceYou can’t get much greener than a tree. As the price of fossil fuels soars and their greenhouse gases poison our atmosphere, wood (as trees) soaks up greenhouse gases. And when it’s done being a tree, wood serves as a readily available, renewable source of energyfor the fireplace. How often have you seen a tree cut down and sent through a wood chipper when it could have fueled hundreds of fires? There’s a surplus of wood in America, and you may be interested to know the highest rated trees for hotter fires.

Log FireSadly, gas-fired hearths now flare greenhouse gases in many living rooms today. Gas fires are costly, eco-unfriendly alternatives to wood-burning fires. We’re paying dearly for the convenience of switching on artificialgas logs whose heat output is minimal. Some decry the hassle of carrying wood to their fireplaces, then they join a gym to lift weights! We’re so accustomed to purchasing appliances to minimize effort, that sometimes we deny ourselves basic pleasures that connect us to the earth, are better for the environment and are healthier for us. Think of log-carrying as “weight-bearing exercise” – good for the heart, muscles and bones! (If need be, carry one or two logs at a time, taking more trips. Then spend less time on the treadmill.)

Purchase a half or full cord of wood from a local source, and make your log pile readily accessible and covered to keep it dry. If you see a dead tree being taken down, ask if you can take some logs (up to ten inches in diameter). Logs from live trees require a year to “season,” so keep those separate. The Texas Fireframe®grate can easily handle a large, unsplit log as the “back log” for a beautiful, long-burning fire. Smaller logs are used in front, as shown in the instructions. If you want to go green, go back to wood fires and save the gas flames for the stove top.

Greener Than Gas LogsOn the 20th anniversary of the Texas Fireframe grate, Dr. Cranberg observed, “Whatever changes the future brings, the sun will shine, rain will nurture the earth, trees will grow, and the fuel forwood fires will be available for as long as we inhabit this planet. In the words of Shakespeare, ‘superfluous branches we lop away that bearing branches may live.’ So live trees remain standing to beautify our world and to provide havens for birds and small animals, while we warm ourselves by the solar energy preserved in dead wood.