Firewood as a sustainable resource
Cleaner energy from Firewood
So I was carrying firewood to the house this morning, thinking about what to put in the blog today. Looked at what I was toting, and thought, why not? I have used wood for heat most of my life, when I was a kid growing up on the farm I used to hate it, because that was part of my chores, either helping get the wood from the forest, or bringing it in from the woodshed. Now I enjoy most of the work, and it is a way to get some exercise. I cut and split all of my own wood, sometimes using wood left over from logging, sometimes I cut down cull trees that get in the way of good logging trees. I don’t as a general rule use anything more than an axe or wedges to split, but I do use a chainsaw.
I found an article from Mother Earth News that discusses firewood as a sustainable resource. Much of the article concerns actually using wood on a large scale, for heating and other energy uses. I am mostly interested in the use for homes. The article talks about the fact that wood is the oldest fuel source known to humans, which we all know is true, but I guess I never thought about it. It also mentions that wood is “carbon neutral” because the growing of the tree uses as much carbon dioxide as it gives off when it burns, meaning no net carbon is released. Sustainable wood sources are a possibility, and according to the article are used in Europe, where they use fast growing hedge-like trees. The article suggested growing trees along the interstate highways, which as a highway engineer attracted my attention. I think that it is a good possibility, as long as the trees are outside the clear zone. I like my wood stove, it is a high efficiency one, which burns relatively clean. They make them cleaner burning all the time, and the better they get at it, the better burning wood is for the environment.
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