Ponder the Benefits of Planet Earth’s most Ancient Fuel
Environmentalism and the concept of Going Green have been in the mainstream for sometime now. You see local governments banning plastic bags in the groceries stores, to more and more companies offering alternative meat as a product line to accompany their meat brands. The many reasons for abandoning meat as a food source are meant for another article, on another site, but one reason to eat alternative meat is because of the negative impact that killing animals has on our environment.
In similar fashion renewable energy production has picked up all over the world as alternative ways to heat our homes. While solar, wind and any other renewable energy mainly have a positive impact on our environment, there are also key advantages of utilizing wood energy, the oldest energy man has known as a homes primary heat source.
It’s also important to highlight how modern day wood heating is done responsibility to protect both the environment and the owner. Responsible wood heating incorporates safe, code-compliant installation of a modern combustion wood burning stove, fireplace insert or other heating appliance. It’s also essential to only use appropriate, seasoned wood and to utilize burn methods that minimize the production of smoke.
Wood Heat is not Ideal, but What Fuel Type Is?
Using wood or pellets for a pellet stove, as a means of an energy source in modern day America is both affordable and renewable. It’s also one of the most widely available. By reducing or completely swapping your use of fossil fuels in favor of wood can help to reduce the greenhouse gases since its overall carbon dioxide output is well below the majority of other common fuels.
Using wood also assists in providing you with a peace of mind since it doesn’t rely on a power source which will allow you to use your stove or fireplace during power outages. Its usage also aids small town communities where the money for power is passed back to the local economy instead of being lost to the large oil and gas companies.
Opting to heat your home with wood is both a lifestyle and an energy source choice, and for this reason it’s not suitable for everyone.
Wood energy isn’t a perfect solution, but the reality is that no fuel is. All types of fuel cause some level of impact on the environment. The majority of critics against wood heating often refer to the traditional wood stove that churns out thick, black smoke.
The new Environmental Protection Agency’s regulated wood stoves and fireplaces have much lower emissions and no visible smoke results, resulting in over 90% less pollution than twenty years ago.
When the environmental impact of all types of energy sources are compared and contrasted, the total fuel cycle must be taken into account. The genuine and wide-ranging environmental impact of fossil fuels, such as oil and gas are frequently overlooked.
The main reason for this oversight is that the major impact on the environment occurs after production, refining and transportation of the fuel. The greenhouse emissions are mainly released when homes are heating with oil and gas, which is often ignored since they don’t generate smoke.
Urban vs Rural Availability
Even though wood is a great fuel source with many benefits, it is not great for everyone in every location of the country. For instance, heating with wood is not ideal for properties housing multiple families, or for large urban environments.
Wood heat is best suited for more rural areas, small towns and villages, as the price of firewood in these areas will be more affordable. That’s not to say our readers who live in urban environments should discount using wood, it’s just not as readily available and the majority of homes in urban centers aren’t equipped with a fireplace or stove.
Fireplaces and stoves can be found in many of our suburban and rural homes which makes utilizing them in the winter a great way to keep your other energy bills lowered. How many times has your family huddled around the floor register to watch warm air enter your living space? I’m hoping this hasn’t happened unless there have been any issues with the register, which brings up another positive affect of burning wood. It brings your family closer to one another. Sitting by the fire in the winter to enjoy the flames while sitting and reading or watching a show has many longterm benefits.
Sustainable Forest Management Practices
The concept of Sustainable Forest Management is too complex of a term to tackle in this article. The basic idea, however, is to find a balance between the need society has for the commodity of wood to the preservation of the world’s forests.
In the majority of circumstances, heating with wood is carried out on a limited basis; the fuel is largely sourced from renewable woodlands, where the operators gain a better understanding of the affects on the environment than is typically observed in those who use other types of energy. These factors are the cornerstone for economic and environmental sustainability within the community. People who choose to use wood as their main energy source should be given the due credit for their efforts towards driving a reduction in greenhouse gases and an eco-friendly future.
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