Living with a Wood Burning stove - Environment Wise
Lets look at the simple argument:
Burning wood is virtually CO2 neutral. CO2 from burning wood is taken up by new tree growth.
Burning Fossil Fuels adds to CO2 in the atmosphere. Previously buried carbon is pumped in to the atmosphere.
So, ignoring the small print caveats, that would close the gap. YES burning wood is better for the environment.
An Alternative Idea
I would like to introduce another argument based on my figures.
If you really want to make an instant “green” impact. Stop burning the wood you have paid a lot for and save yourself £301. Take ½ of that to sponsor the growing of additional trees to offset your gas usage. Spend the other £150.50 to switch to a 100% green electricity tariff. (Please feel to disagree)
If everyone with a wood burner switched to a 100% green electric tariff the demand would encourage more supply. OK I know it’s a simplistic argument, but it’s worth thinking about. (Leave me a comment if you have something to add to this debate)
An Idea in Favour of Wood Burning
More demand for wood should encourage more pockets of land to be planted as managed woodland.
It’s an attractive idea, local woodsmen supplying their local area with a sustainable fuel. Creating employment, reducing road mile and sea miles (as we get gas shipped in). It could be a competitive free market for fuel without the reliance on imports or monopolised distribution. How long would it take for the financial markets to start trading in “log futures”. Maybe now’s the time to invest in some woodland?
An Idea Against encouraging Wood Burning
This is a trap I have fallen into, only now after some analysis of the figures, I’ve realised what I’ve done.
Thinking I’ve got a cheap, green heat source has detracted me from taking steps to reduce heat loss. What an incredibly false delusion I’ve been living under. If others follow my example then a big opportunity for energy conservation will be missed. This is most prevalent to people in old housing stock such as my self.
Home insulation and draught proofing need to be improved first. Pound for pound it will have a bigger impact on CO2 output.
Here’s my resolution for the weekend, not to be put off any longer. – Fix the draft proofing on the front door, cellar door and the unused chimneys. It’s a low cost start that I’ve ignored for too long.
Is Living with a Wood Burner worth it, Environment Wise?
If you do it right on top of other measures then the answer is probably YES even if it expensive.
I have a feeling the recent upsurge in demand isn’t having the positive impact it could have. As we went into it blind, without taking other measures first then I’m sure many others will as well.
Log burning is fuelling a profitable industry without fulfilling the expectations of environmental benefits.