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Getting a woodburner has definitely been the loveliest carbon reducing measure we’ve taken.
Not only has it saved us around two tonnes of CO2 and £200 a year, but it’s also made our living room the toastiest ever, and we get the pleasure of watching the flames flicker. Gorgeous!
We’d been thinking it about it for ages, but our ancient gas fire going kaput (after years of scarily going “kaboom” at random) finally pushed to do it. A few phone calls and around £1500 outlay later, a couple of blokes pushed a huge silver tube down our chimney and installed a very presentable cast iron stove with arched door into the hole the gas heater had lived in.
Straight away it was as good as we hoped. The new fire threw out far more heat than the old one, and looked great. Friends came around to admire it, and we quickly became very smug at having learned how to keep it going for hours with almost no attention.
Straight away it was as good as we hoped. The new fire threw out far more heat than the old one, and looked great.
Although the stove will handle coal, we only burn wood, as it doesn’t add to overall carbon emissions. All the wood we use, some scrounged, some donated and some even bought, comes from coppiced woodlands, where trees are cut every 10-20 years for fuel and raw materials, then allowed to grow again.
As they grow, they take up carbon from the air, balancing up what’s emitted when wood is burnt. Coppiced woodlands are great for wildlife too, so it’s a good feeling knowing that we’re supporting them as we warm ourselves.
It’s not free of drawbacks – lighting fires takes longer than just pressing a button, and you need to remember to keep dry kindling always at hand. No kindling – no fire. Which explains why one snowy December day I could be found scrabbling around in a hedgerow, baby strapped to my chest, trying to find a few half-dry twigs. The heartening sight of a real fire is more than worth it though.