With rising costs of fossil fuels, the importance of finding renewable energy sources is becoming more and more obvious. As fuel options go, nothing is quite like wood. Using wood as an energy source goes back thousands of years – to the first fires, really! If you’ve ever cuddled up in front of a fireplace or wood stove, you know how warm those fires can be.
Every energy source has its detractors and problems. Solar and wind are clean and renewable, but they require a lot of space and take a good deal of money to get going. Wood requires some manual labor and can create a mess, but the price is good. With a few tips and principles for storage and handling wood, it can become second nature to keep up with the work.
For many people, especially those living in the country, heating and cooking with wood is a natural. Most would never choose any other way, because they have grown accustomed to the wonderful aroma of a wood fire, and the unbeatable warmth given off on a cold winter evening around the wood stove.
Veteran wood users might complain about splitting logs and cleaning out ash pans, but often secretly relish the close connection with nature. They enjoy knowing they are providing character building work for their children while reducing the overall effect of greenhouse gases on the environment. Taking the time to get back to nature reduces stress and improves one’s health and attitude.
Here’s one of the best things about using wood as an energy source when you are heating your home. When those winter ice storms take down power lines, those who heat with electricity lose their ability to heat their homes. Even the propane and natural gas people lose their electric blowers. The folks who heat with wood, however, still have a nice steady warmth to enjoy.
Cooking with wood is another area in which many people have gone back to wood as an energy source over the last 40 years or so. A wood fire gives a special flavor to anything cooked with it. Many cooks swear by the difference a good fire can make.
Also, there’s just something about a fire that affects us very deeply. Have you ever gazed into a candle flame while you pondered the meaning of life? Or cuddled with your best guy or gal in front of a campfire? We even speak of fire when we discuss our strong feelings and passions. A propane fireplace might come on with the flip of a switch, but those logs never change! It’s just not the same.
If you’re ready to start the road back to wood as an energy source, get educated. Burning wood has its dangers, not only in the form of out-of-control fires, but also in the form of aching backs and dry, smoke-filled eyes. It’s not as easy as pushing a button to create a good fire, but its a skill you can learn and will be glad you did.
(c) 2008 forestry.com all rights reserved
Material published at Forestry Articles on these web pages is copyright forestry.com and may not be reproduced without permission.