Burning wood to create fuel is probably one of the oldest ways of keeping ourselves warm. Indeed, the discovery that wood can be burned to create fire and warmth could be considered one of mankind’s greatest advances.
In this day and age where environmental concerns are so important, burning firewood is once again a good source of heat. Because burning wood produces no more Carbon Dioxide then would be produced when it naturally degrades, it is considered to be carbon neutral.
However, there are growing concerns about the deforestation of the planet so it is vital the wood is sustainably sourced and maintaining a sustainable long term supply of timber for the firewood market is a concern for the industry.
The logging industry around the world can be too intensive and when too much wood is removed from a forest it can lead to soil erosion and habitat destruction.
However, in many countries firewood is being harvested in a sustainable manor so there is very little environmental impact.
One way of producing fire wood sustainably is to use sustainable forest management. The idea is to manage forests in such a way that they continue to provide wood products without destroying the forest. The key is to maintain the stewardship of the forest so that its resources are still available to future generations.
Here in the UK, the Forestry Commission works to ensure that England’s forests play their part in “enriching people’s quality of life and their environment”. They are also leaders in sustainability in a bid to preserve our woodlands for future generations.
Another way of lessening the environmental impact of firewood is to use wood that is a by-product of natural forestry. Deadfall, which hasn’t started to rot, can be used to supply firewood as it already partly seasoned. Standing dead timber is even better as it is also partly seasoned but usually has little rot.