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Have you noticed the nip in the air? The leaves turning ruddy? Aye, we might be enjoying an indian summer but, to quote Game of Thrones, ‘winter is coming’. And when the freeze hits will you roast your chestnuts over a coal or wood fire
Properly regulated, timber is one of the most sustainable building materials and fuels we humans have. So long as it is sourced from a sustainable plantation, firewood is carbon neutral. You are only releasing CO2 that was already in circulation, not adding to the net amount.
Compare that to oil or coal. Burning these fuels unleashes CO2 that has been locked under the ground or the seabed for millennia. You are adding to the CO2 gasses in the atmosphere, precipitating global warming.
Some companies offering ‘e-coal’ and smokeless coal suggest these are environmentally friendly. This is stretching the case quite a bit. They unlock around 25% less carbon than their smokier cousins by being more efficient, but you are still boosting the net amount of carbon in the world.
Of course, the major caveat is firewood is only carbon neutral when it is sustainably managed – otherwise, you are actually increasing the net gain of CO2. You are putting CO2 into the atmosphere without replacing the trees that will turn it into oxygen. This is hugely irresponsible, but is increasingly common with global demand for wood set to triple by 2050.
Just last week Kingfisher, IKEA, and Tetra Pak announced a major research project to show the environmental and economical value to companies of using responsibly harvested wood. The sustainability director for Kingfisher, Richard Gillies, put it this way: ‘our forests are fighting for their lives. The business community can help reverse the deforestation spiral by getting behind sustainable forestry’. And it’s hard to deny that illegal logging is on the rise around the developing world, particularly in Africa, South America and South East Asia, where desperate communities ruin their forest resources for future generations, the wrong people get rich and the environment is severely damaged.
What has illegal logging in the Amazon got to do with me, you might ask, but that is not living in the globalised world. Make sure you buy your firewood locally, limiting fuel burned in transport, and that it is from a sustainable source.
Stewart Timber produces kiln-dried firewood in our subsidiary company Clydesdale Logs. (We also sell kindling, briquettes, log stores, and waxlings.) Our hardwood provides a clean burn, with maximum heat output and minimum smoke and tar.
Not only is the firewood of the highest quality, with a surface moisture content less than 12% and true moisture content under 24%, but it is sustainable. We are an Accredited Woodsure Assured Quality Woodfuel Supplier – this is the standard recognising environmentally responsible woodfuel production.
We strive to source as much firewood as possible from our own sustainably managed woodlands in Cumbernauld. We even log with clydesdale horses, maintaining tradition and helping the earth.
How local are we to you? We are located in central Scotland and will deliver free within a 30-mile radius of Cumbernauld.