Bonus, below: a list of the healthiest kinds of wood to burn.
A good read for those, like me, who love campfires and fireplaces.
Another good read, here, on Treehugger.
I love fire. I grew up making campfires. Now that I’m all grownsup, my old house happens to have a mantle and a fireplace. But I only light a fire once a year, if that. Because of this darned article, which ruined my enjoyment of fireplaces forever.
Yes, I need to get an efficient insert or a stove, both of which will be a little less romantic but add more heat to my home (instead of the fireplace sucking all the heated air out of my home and up the chimney). Due to fracking, natural gas is not an option for me.
Via Sam Harris, the article that broke my fireplace naiveté. Excerpt: read the rest here.
“…On a cold night, most people consider a well-tended fire to be one of the more wholesome pleasures that humanity has produced. A fire, burning safely within the confines of a fireplace or a woodstove, is a visible and tangible source of comfort to us. We love everything about it: the warmth, the beauty of its flames, and—unless one is allergic to smoke—the smell that it imparts to the surrounding air.
I am sorry to say that if you feel this way about a wood fire, you are not only wrong but dangerously misguided. I mean to seriously convince you of this—so you can consider it in part a public service announcement—but please keep in mind that I am drawing an analogy. I want you to be sensitive to how you feel, and to notice the resistance you begin to muster as you consider what I have to say.
Because wood is among the most natural substances on earth, and its use as a fuel is universal, most people imagine that burning wood must be a perfectly benign thing to do. Breathing winter air scented by wood smoke seems utterly unlike puffing on a cigarette or inhaling the exhaust from a passing truck. But this is an illusion.
Here is what we know from a scientific point of view…”
Excerpt: read the rest here.