Is All Firewood a Renewable Energy?October 3, 2018
A renewable energy source is defined by its ability to replenish itself. The sun, wind and tides all come to mind as they are energy resources that replenish themselves quickly due to the natural progression of our universe. Other renewable resources take time to replenish such as wood and animal products. Some trees replenish more quickly than others as their growth cycle is shorter. All firewood is a renewable source, although some do it better than others. Old growth by definition would be considered renewable, but others would argue the lifespan and growth cycle Is far too great to be considered renewable. There are a number of environmentally approved wood sources that will provide you with heat all winter long while reducing your footprint on Mother Earth.
Firewood is far better for the environment than fossil fuels and is a great option when it comes to heating your home. Using firewood to heat your home dramatically reduces the emissions produced from heating. Always ensure that firewood is completely dry so that it burns more efficiently and cleaner. Seasoned firewood is another great way to reduce emissions and refers to wood that has been dried for at least six months. This firewood has less than 20 percent moisture content and weighs 50 to 70 percent less than green wood. It can be identified by its discolouration and splits.
When choosing your firewood, steer clear of deforested wood. Deforested wood comes from large land clearing sites that are not replenished or replanted. These forests are home to thousands of species of wildlife and old growth forest and are detrimental to the environment. Choose your wood responsibly and opt for wood that come from sustainable plantations. These are forest plantations that are specifically designed to adhere to the tree’s lifespan and are incrementally replanted to ensure minimal harm to the environment.
Waste wood is probably the most sustainable wood source to use in your fireplace. The waste wood category consists of fallen trees and generally anything you forage from the forest floor. You’d be surprised how easy it is to come by and within an hour or two it’s quite easy to fill a trailer load or fill bags of firewood. Not only does this cause the least harm to the environment but another benefit is that it’s totally free. So next time you think about buying firewood go for a drive into the bush and source your own. Take the whole family for a fun adventure and get back to nature. Another way to get waste wood is to go around to old building sites or contact a local builder and ask them for any offcuts from the job site. However, you must be careful not to burn treated wood as the emissions from burning it can be toxic.
So yes, technically wood is a renewable source of energy, although contributes some emissions that will pollute our atmosphere. It burns cleaner than fossil fuel and is relatively sustainable for your home heating. Try to source wood that will leave the smallest carbon footprint so that we can enjoy Mother Earth for eons to come.