It depends on where you live. Some places specialize in sustainable firewood – I would look up to see if there are any in your local area. Sustainable firewood can be sourced from either tree farms, or from particular areas of privately owned forest. If it is sourced from a large forest, sometimes only small patches here and there are harvested so as to do as little damage to the ecosystem that relies on the forest as possible (this helps to protect animals who live in these forested areas). Not always living trees are harvested – a lot of places pick out only trees that have fallen due to storms etc. When harvesting wood, it is always good to leave some wood to rot where it lies – decaying foliage and trees are good for the forest floor, and the integrity of the forest in general. An Australian organization – CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences – has a particularly interesting study about harvesting sustainable firewood.
Not only does firewood kill trees (even sustainable firewood), but it releases hundreds of contaminants into our atmosphere. Instead of burning firewood, may I recommend a more eco friendly option? Javalogs, which are logs made from 100% recycled coffee grounds, release 80% less emissions than traditional firewood. Many environmentally friendly fireplaces have also been developed, from companies such as EcoSmart and Anywhere Fireplace, which don’t burn logs at all.
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